New York opened the general licensing window on October 4, 2023, and the authorities will be issuing at least 1,500 licenses in different categories. If you want to open a cannabis cultivation business in New York, then this blog is for you.
What Are Cannabis Cultivation Licensees Licensed To Do?
- Buy, possess, cultivate, trim, harvest, dry, and cure marijuana on its authorized premises.
- Supply cannabis to a processor, micro business, cooperative, Registered Organization with Dispensing, Registered Organization Non-Dispensing, or a licensee for cannabis research.
- Deliver marijuana to a processor while maintaining control over the cannabis.
- Buy marijuana from another grower for processing if the cultivation licensee also holds a processor license.
What Are the Different Types of Cultivation Licenses In New York?
After adult-use marijuana became legal in New York, the state started granting conditional cultivation licenses to qualified hemp farmers in an effort to kickstart the state’s recreational marijuana industry and guarantee that the majority of the adult-use marijuana sold there comes from New York farmers.
For up to two years, authorized hemp farmers are permitted to grow, harvest, and sell marijuana plants under the terms of the conditional license. Holders of conditional cultivation permits who intend to continue cultivating marijuana for New York’s adult-use marijuana market before the time period ends must have obtained the state’s adult-use cultivation license.
Additionally, Registered Organization adult-use cultivator licensees are permitted to grow marijuana legally in the state of New York under the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA).
The same permissions and restrictions apply to adult-use cultivator licensees and holders of a Registered Organization Adult-Use Cultivator License. However, these license holders may only sell adult-use cannabis and cannabis-related products to other certified adult-use processors. No other adult-use license can be obtained by the holder of a Registered Organization Adult-Use Cultivator License.
How To Get A License To Grow Marijuana In NY
Here are some things to consider before diving into the details of the cannabis license application:
- Cultivation Facility Size: Choose your intended cultivation facility size.
- Cultivation Tier: Depending on the size of your business, determine your cultivation tier.
- Cultivation Type: Think about whether your operation will be inside, outdoors, or a combination of both, as each has specified limitations on uses and light sources.
- Number of Licenses: Keep in mind that although a grower may operate many sites, they may only have one cultivator license in New York. Cannabis must be grown under a license for commercial purposes.
It is important to remember that anybody with a cannabis growers license in New York, or really any other place, cannot get a license for an adult-use retail store or a license to run a cannabis consumption lounge.
Cannabis Cultivation License Eligibility
To qualify for an Adult-Use Conditional Cultivator License in New York, you must fulfill each of the requirements listed below, according to the New York Office of Cannabis Management:
- Permitted to cultivate hemp under the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program of the Department of Agriculture and Markets.
- In compliance with the Department of Agriculture and Markets.
- Permitted to grow “CBD hemp” rather than hemp grown for grain or fiber by the Department of Agriculture and Markets.
- Be able to show the Office proof of having permission to cultivate and harvest cannabinoid or “CBD hemp” for two of the previous four years.
- Own at least 51% or more of the company that had Department of Agriculture and Markets authorization to cultivate industrial hemp.
What To Do After Applying For A Cannabis Cultivation License In New York
Marijuana cultivators must follow ongoing procedures after applying with the state of New York. They consist of the following, but are not limited to:
- Operating plan – You must submit a company operating plan in accordance with the requirements of the New York Office of Cannabis Management within six months of getting a cultivation license.
- Cultivation report – You must submit an Annual Cultivation Report to the Office one year following issuance. Additionally, the report must be accessible upon request.
- Inspection – The Office has the authority to inspect the locations where your cannabis operations are being conducted.
- Sampling and testing – The Office, or a party it designates, is permitted to randomly sample any raw cannabis product (flower). They may offer revised guidelines and rules for sampling and testing, including requirements for batch sizes, testing thresholds, and sample techniques. As a licensee, you are accountable for paying all associated sampling and testing fees and making sure that requirements are followed.
- Traceability – You must have or create an on-premises-based identification and traceability system in time for the growing season that enables the cannabis product to be tracked back to your company and a specific production site, down to the ground level. It must be tracked along the supply chain to the following distribution point. You must be able to connect the harvested cannabis product to the production records using the batch number or harvest date.
Apart from the above-mentioned ongoing procedures you have to take part in a social and economic justice mentorship program that is chosen by the Office as a requirement for licensure. The Office will specify the terms and conditions of the program. As a cultivator, you could be required to take part in several tasks, such as pre-program surveys, mentoring activities, and data reporting-related tasks.
How To Submit The Cannabis Cultivation License Application
The Office of Cannabis Management is now accepting applications for the following licenses:
- Adult Use Cultivator
- Adult Use Processor
- Adult Use Distributor
- Adult Use Retail
All cannabis business applications including cultivator license applications must be submitted online using a NY.gov account through New York Business Express (NYBE).
Visit cannabis.ny.gov/licensing to learn more and submit your application. The application deadline is Monday, December 4, 5 PM.
How Much Is A Grower’s License in NY
Depending on the size, the cost of obtaining a NY Grower’s License for the recreational license submission will range from $1,000 to $100,000. Only Tier 1 and Tier 2 growers, each with a maximum canopy area of 5,000 square feet and 12,500 square feet, respectively, will be granted licenses during the first round of licensing, which is open for 60 days between October 4 and December 3.
The OCM further plans to set a very low threshold of only 20 cultivation permits in this initial round. The best we can tell is that the reason for this low limit is that all of the conditionally licensed growers in New York who produced harvests during the previous two years still require a market for the surplus they have been holding onto.
Being a cannabis grower in the state of New York is a promising and exciting journey. Despite the fact that the process might seem challenging, you can successfully navigate the cannabis sector with knowledge and preparedness. The future is green and bright for cannabis entrepreneurs in the Empire State, so stay updated about any new laws or changes to the licensing procedure. Wishing you success as you pursue cultivating marijuana!