Marijuana Dispensary in New York

Marijuana Dispensary in New York

Marijuana Dispensary in New York

Marijuana Dispensary in New York: Denver Consulting Group recently won a coveted medical marijuana dispensary license for its client in New York. The application and approval process was among the most competitive in the nation.

New York accepted medical marijuana program license applications from April 27 through June 5, 2015, and awarded five winners on July 31, 2015. The first dispensaries opened their doors on January 7, 2016.

In late 2016, the New York Department of Health allowed 5 new medical marijuana businesses to enter the market, and added chronic pain to the list of qualifying conditions. Additionally, Nurse Practitioners can now write recommendations, and the types of products companies can sell has been expanded. Regulations are also being drafted to give physician’s assistants recommendation privileges and to establish a home delivery program.

This effort is designed to improve patient access, which has been hampered by the small number of dispensaries serving the public, the short list of qualifying conditions, and the scarcity of doctors writing recommendations.

“The New York market is still in its first year, and has seen its share of growing pains,” said Greg Gamet, Co-Founder and CEO of Denver Consulting Group. “However, the state is showing its commitment to creating a framework for a sustainable cannabis industry by allowing more businesses and products to enter the market, and opening up the list of qualifying conditions so that more patients can obtain the medicine they need,” he added. “We believe that long-term, New York will be one of the strongest cannabis markets in the nation.”

Contact Denver Consulting Group for support with your existing New York medical marijuana dispensary, or to discuss how to prepare for future opportunities to open a cannabis business in New York.


Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature enacted the Compassionate Care Act in 2014, which legalizes the medical use of prepared cannabis products by eligible patients. State law does not allow the possession or use of whole plant marijuana, however, just pills, oils, tinctures, and other such preparations. New York medical marijuana law also requires patients (and caregivers, if applicable) to register with the state in order to access medicine.

  • Illnesses: Cancer, Epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, Huntington’s Disease, Inflammatory bowel disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Neuropathies, Spinal cord damage, chronic pain (just added)
  • Possession: DOH is in the process of determining limits, but it may not be a whole-plant form of cannabis nor more than a 30-day supply
  • Cultivation: Not allowed
  • Dispensaries: State will authorize up to five producers and up to 20 dispensaries. Just added additional 5 companies.

The Marijuana Dispensary in New York program authorized each of four license winners to operate one cultivation and processing facility and four geographically-spread out dispensaries. With each facility needing significant security and operational build-out, start-up costs are not small in this state.

During the 2015 application process, applicants were required to submit:

  •  $10,000 non-refundable application fee
  • $200,000 registration fee, refunded to applicants not issued a registration

During the 2015 application process, applicants were required to submit:

  • $10,000 non-refundable application fee

  • $200,000 registration fee, refunded to applicants not issued a registration

Should New York offer additional licenses in the future, there are no guarantees that the state will use the same application again. However, it is unlikely that the next application process will be less stringent.

That means it will be a competitive, merit-based application – evaluators will score the application, and award licenses only to the top scoring applicants.

The 2015 evaluations prioritized the applicant’s ability to manufacture approved medical marijuana products, each with a consistent cannabinoid profile and each able to pass the required quality control testing.

  • Product Manufacturing                                    36%

  • Quality Assurance & Staffing                        15.2%

  • Geographic Distribution                                  9.6%

  • Financial Standing                                          9.6%

  • Real Property and Equipment                            8%

  • Sales and Dispensing                                      5.6%

  • Architectural Design                                        4.8%

  • Security                                                            4.8%

  • Transportation and Distribution                        3.2%

  • Miscellaneous                                                  3.2%

    • Labor peace agreement

    • Statement of state and local compliance

    • Timeline estimating seed to sale

    • Public interest


New York Cannabis Dispensary Application Components
  • Registration application form

  • Attachments A through M:

    • A: Identification of all related real property and buildings

    • B: Identification of all related equipment

    • C: Documentation of control or use for all property listed above

    • D: Operating Plan, including the following:

      • Manufacturing

      • Transport and Distribution

      • Dispensing and Sale

      • Devices

      • Security and Control

      • Standard Operating Procedures

      • Quality Assurance Plans

      • Returns, Complaints, Adverse Events and Recalls

      • Product Quality Assurance

      • Recordkeeping

    • E: Organizational and operational documents, including ownership percentages and identification

    • F: Documentation of labor peace agreement with bona fide labor organization

    • G: Financial statement of all business transactions connected with the application

    • H: Security Plan of the manufacturing and dispensary facilities

    • I: Most recent financial statement prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and certified by an independent certified public accountant

    • J: Staffing plan for cultivation, manufacturing, and/or dispensing, including oversight activities

    • K: Proof from local internet service provider that all manufacturing and dispensing facilities have internet connectivity, as required to support seed-to-sale tracking

    • L: Timeline demonstrating estimated timeframe from growing marijuana to production of a final approved product

    • M: Statement and/or documentation that the applicant is able to comply with all applicable state and local laws

  • Architectural Program and required related components, including for each proposed facility:

    • Construction timeline, including zoning approval, permitting, bidding, and construction

    • Site plans

    • Energy sources and engineering systems

    • Building code compliance

  • Freedom of Information Law documentation indicating trade secrets or critical infrastructure information

  • For all of the above written materials, one original, nine copies, and a searchable electronic version


 Open a Marijuana Dispensary in New York or improve an existing cannabis business with DCG – the nation’s premier cannabis consultants and Canna-biz experts. Contact DCG.