We’ve been hearing a lot of chat in the cannabis community about New York’s Senate Bill S854A earlier this year. For this reason, we have a message for New York cannaprenuers

Just because New York has yet to release their former cannabis regulations for the state, doesn’t mean that you can’t get started on your application for a dispensary in New York. 

In this article, we’ll share the latest legislature in New York, as well as the actions we think you can start taking now (and how we can help) to apply for a dispensary in New York so you can be ready when the time is right. 

new york dispensary

What’s The Latest in New York Cannabis Legislation?

This has been a big year for New York Cannabis. 

Firstly, recreational use of marijuana became legal in New York April 1st, 2021. On March 28th, 2021 the state of New York passed Senate Bill S854A. According to the New York state official website, Senate Bill S854A plans to:

  • Establish a New York state office of cannabis management
  • Expands the state’s medical-marijuana program
  • Establishes a state licensing system
  • Creates a social and economic equity program

The official members of the Office of Cannabis Management were expected to be appointed during the last legislative session. However, to the cannabis industry’s disappointment, the session ended with Governor Andrew Cuomo making zero appointments for the Office of Cannabis Management. 

Cannabis Industry insiders are disappointed that there haven’t been sessions called to complete the task. In fact, sessions are now projected to be announced during the next legislative session which commences at the beginning of 2022

It’s only once the office of cannabis commission and its board is appointed that official full-length regulations for cannabis in New York will be approved and released. Those regulations will have clarifications regarding the application process and what it takes to qualify. 

cannabis new york

What Can I Do to Prepare to Apply for a Dispensary in New York?

Senate Bill S854A outlines a lot of the requirements that will exist in New York state’s future regulations. Therefore, there’s no need to wait

The release of this groundbreaking bill can guide your dispensary decisions regarding real estate, the labor union, developing your team, funding, strategy, planning, and more. The goal will be to follow the specifications that the bill has set forth as optimally as you can so that your operating plans, background checks, and anything else required by the state can run smoothly when the legislation is ready. 

Here are a few key pieces the state will likely want, including our notes from experience:

  • A Labor Peace Agreement signed with the Union
  • A community impact plan
  • Operating procedures for business activities required for operating a compliant and successful dispensary.
  • Information about the ownership team (get your team in place)
  • Information about how the business startup will be funded
  • Proposed business locations (there’s already a run on properly placed real estate)
  • Verification of community support (this can take time)

Why To Prepare for Your New York State Application Now 

If you plan to wait to get started until further cannabis legislation is released, we understand your choice. However, here’s why we’re advocating for you to strike while the iron is hot.

Get Ahead of The Rest

Having the pieces of your dispensary or cannabusiness put together before the state regulations are released will put you at an immense advantage over businesses who stall. 

Applications Take Time

If you want to have a quality application, not starting until the request for application is released is a bad idea. These applications give only 8 – 12 weeks from the release of the application until the hard stop deadline. With the amount that has to be done in order to do a complete and well presented application, weeks can fly by in a matter of minutes. Start now! 

Quality, Quality, Quality

If you can prepare your application now, you’ll be able to double and triple check your information. With the extra time to refine everything beforehand you’re setting up your legal team and consultants for success.  

Take Your Business, Seriously

Given that you want to invest in one of the most high profile cannabis markets in the world, this is not something that you want to phone in. Don’t wait until the last minute, these applications are complex and doing them well is key. If you’re in the industry already, then you know it’s true.  If you’re vying to be a cannabis business owner or financer for the first time, any successful dispensary owner would tell you that this venture should be taken as seriously as you would take any other business, and then some.

new york cannabis

In Conclusion: Cannabis Dispensaries in New York

Though your peers may be playing a waiting game to see what the regulations will say, don’t wait. Even though the full regulations won’t be out for a while it’s worth starting your application and business planning now.

If you truly want a chance to be part of what will be one of the most revenue-generating cannabis markets in the world, then you know it’s worth the risk.

We CANN Do It. 

The cannabis industry requires high risk, instability, and uncertainty tolerance. It’s the nature of the beast. But if you’re ready to jump in the game or to expand your company from other states, let’s do this. 

Whether you’re in the application phase for licensure or aiming to be the first trailblazing community impact leader, CANN Strategy is here to help. Our team of industry experts can help you put together the best application possible for your team. Turn your business’ CSR goals into actionable strategies that truly make a difference in the world.

Ready to work together? Contact us today.

Glory Finnegan