The state’s Office of Cannabis Management will approve a maximum of 150 conditional licenses for adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries statewide, including as many as 20 for Long Island operators.
The number of conditional retail licenses is determined by population of each region, with Manhattan getting the most with 22 and Long Island getting the second most. Brooklyn will get 19 conditional retail licenses, the Mid-Hudson region will get 17 and Queens will be awarded 16.
The conditional licensees will be the first retail dispensaries to open for legal adult-use cannabis sales in the state, allowing them to be operational before the end of the year, according to the OCM.
To qualify for one of the conditional retail licenses, the applicants must have been arrested in New York for a cannabis offense, or have a family member who was, before March 31, 2021, and have run a profitable business for at least two years.
Applicants who receive the conditional licenses will have access to turnkey storefronts that are currently being secured and built out into dispensary spaces by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY). They will also have access to the state’s $200 million social equity cannabis investment fund for business-building capital.
In addition, the OCM says it will award 25 of the 150 conditional retail licenses to qualifying nonprofit organizations. To qualify, the nonprofits need to have a history of serving and creating vocational opportunities for current or formerly incarcerated individuals; have five or more full-time employees; have operated a social enterprise that had net assets or profit for at least two years. That requirement is defined as “a business serving customers, operated by a nonprofit or fiscally sponsored by a nonprofit,” which both fulfills the parent organization’s mission and generates revenue.
The nonprofits that receive conditional retail licenses won’t be granted access to DASNY storefronts or the state’s social equity investment funding.
For more information on the conditional cannabis retail license application process visit: cannabis.ny.gov/caurd