Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the New York State Cannabis Control Board voted to waive licensing fees for two years for Adult-Use Conditional Cultivators. In addition, the Board approved 114 new licenses, including 45 retail dispensaries and 31 microbusiness licenses. Approaching the three-year anniversary of legalization, New York now has 88 licensed dispensaries, with more stores to open statewide. To date, 223 licenses have been granted in 2024 alone.

“Farmers are the backbone of our State, and we’re making sure the family farms across New York that are building our cannabis industry have a real chance to succeed,” Governor Hochul said. “I have made it clear that New York State needs to issue more dispensary licenses and kickstart cannabis sales in New York, and this two-year promise to Adult-Use Conditional Cultivators will make sure these farmers can reap the benefits of this growing industry.”  

The fee waiver applies to dispensaries transitioning to non-conditional license types, including cultivation licenses and microbusiness licenses Fees for conditional cultivator licensees range from $4,500 to up to $40,000 depending on the licensee tier and canopy size.

The Cannabis Control Board (CCB) also issued 114 licenses, with 45 going to applicants seeking to open a retail dispensary and another 31 going to applicants seeking to operate a microbusiness license which allows a licensee to grow, process, distribute and sell all under one license. The CCB also approved 38 non-conditional adult-use cannabis licenses for entrepreneurs who applied during the 2023 application window which opened on October 4.

Office of Cannabis Management Executive Director Chris Alexander said, “New York State’s cannabis market is moving in the right direction, and by waiving licensing fees for two years, we’re making sure conditional cultivators have a chance to reap the rewards of this growing industry. As we mark three years of legalized adult-use cannabis in New York state, we look forward to this next chapter of our cannabis story.”  

Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright said, “Today our market takes one step further in building a market of competition, choice, and equity with the issuance of more than a hundred adult-use cannabis licenses. The Cannabis Control Board is here to help this market grow and thrive in the ways we all know is possible, and we can’t wait to issue more of these licenses in our coming meetings.”  

Applicants approved for the retail and microbusiness licenses today were those who submitted their applications before the November 17 deadline and have a specific location under their control. Additional licenses for applicants who applied by the November 17 deadline, and for applicants who applied by the December 18 deadline, will be issued on a rolling basis at CCB meetings over the next few months. The Office anticipates a significant number of applications will be ready for Board approval at the subsequent CCB meetings. 

In addition to these licenses issued, the Cannabis Control Board also voted to renew permits for 17 cannabis testing laboratories. These testing laboratories are vital to the success of the legal cannabis market as they help to ensure cannabis products sold at licensed dispensaries are tested for contaminates and accurately reflect the potency on the label.   

Since the last Cannabis Control Board meeting in February, 16 new adult-use cannabis dispensaries have opened their doors across New York State. This is a continuation of the swift rate of store openings since the December lifting of an injunction preventing New York’s retail cannabis licensees from opening their doors.  

Since the last CCB meeting, adult-use retail dispensaries have opened in the following municipalities:  

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