Adult Use Licenses

OCM will issue licenses and develop regulations outlining how and when businesses can participate in the new industry. Please be aware, before the OCM can issue adult-use cannabis licenses several foundational tasks will need to be completed, including: (1) appointing the CCB, (2) issuing and adopting regulations, (3) hiring and training OCM staff, and (4) creating the a process for issuing, accepting and awarding licenses.

To begin accepting applications for the adult-use program, the OCM will need to issue and implement regulations establishing the application process for different license types. The OCM will actively promote social and economic equity applicants who have been harmed by the prohibition of cannabis for adult-use licenses, establishing a goal of awarding 50% of licenses to social and economic equity applicants.

To check on the current status of Cannabis Adult-Use Licenses, check:

Local Opt-out

· Cities, towns, and villages can opt-out of allowing adult-use cannabis Retail Dispensaries or On-Site Consumption Licenses or just one type of license (e.g. allow retail dispensaries but not on-site consumption licenses) from locating within their jurisdictions. Municipalities cannot opt-out of adult-use legalization, as Adult-use cannabis possession and use by adults 21+ is legal in NYS.

· Municipalities cannot opt out of other Adult-use License types from locating or operating within their jurisdiction. Additionally, municipalities are prohibited from opting out of medical cannabis or cannabinoid hemp license types. If a town passes a local law to opt-out, it only affects the area of the town outside of any village within the town. County governments are not permitted to opt-out of any adult-use license types.

Restrictions on Time, Manner Place of Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries: Towns, cities and villages are permitted to pass local laws and regulations governing the time, place and manner of adult-use retail dispensaries and on-site consumption licenses, provided such laws and regulations do not make the operation of the license unreasonably impracticable. For example, cities, towns, and villages may pass laws and regulations pertaining to local zoning and the location of licensees, hours of operations and adherence to local building codes. Municipalities may not issue or require local licenses for cannabis businesses.

Notification to municipalities for Retail Dispensary License or On-Site Consumption License Applicants: At least 30 days prior to applying for an adult-use retail dispensary or on-site consumption license, an applicant must notify the municipality of the applicant’s intent to apply for such license. The notification must be made to the clerk of the village, town, or city, or if in the city of New York, the community board in which the proposed premise is located. When the municipality expresses an opinion for or against the granting of the license, the opinion shall be deemed part of the record and used by OCM to determine whether to grant or deny the application. CCB must then respond in writing to the city, town, village, or community board, with an explanation of how such opinion was considered in the granting or denial of an application. (NY Cannabis Law § 76)