How to open a Dispensary in New York:
New York is not an easy market for prospective medical marijuana entrepreneurs. The costs of setting up this type of company and the limited supply of licenses make things more challenging. However, the state is trying to address these problems by expanding the program and adding more dispensaries.
Registered Organizations (the official name of marijuana businesses) are tasked with supplying, delivering and manufacturing all the medical marijuana to qualifying patients in New York state. Read on to learn what it will take to start a marijuana dispensary in New York.
When was cannabis made legal
Under regulations enacted as of July 2014, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo legalized the use of medical marijuana use by registered patients with qualifying conditions.
Marijuana dispensaries (also known as Registered Organizations) are the responsible vendors for manufacturing and supplying New York State with medical marijuana.
How many dispensaries are there currently in the state
There are currently 10 registered organizations in operation state-wide, and New York state has not indicated when they will accept new applications.
The medical marijuana program license application period was open from April 27 through June 5, 2015. Only five registered organizations were awarded legal status in August of 2015. The licensee holders are allowed to open 4 dispensaries each, totaling to 20 locations in the whole state.
The first dispensaries opened on January 7, 2016.
New York’s program authorized each license winner to operate one cultivation and processing facility and five geographically-spread out dispensaries. It should be noted that costs for opening and operating a dispensary in New York state are quite high.
In 2016, 526 physicians registered to certify patients for medical marijuana. 2,675 patients received certifications.
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How much money is there in the dispensary market
Dispensary Owner requirements
New York’s dispensary system is currently quite preventive to new business owners, with limited doctor participation and supply adding up to the high costs. Although the state is trying to address the problem, there is no planned date for the re-opening of retail business applications.
However, a biannual report that came out in August 2016 suggested 12 recommendations for improving the program, including wanting to add five more dispensing organizations in the next two years.
Several of those recommendations have already been implemented, such as home delivery, chronic pain as a qualifying condition, wholesale, and allowing physicians assistants and nurse practitioners to certify patients for the program.
One notable aspect of New York’s legislature is that it specifically bans patients from smoking cannabis. All methods must be approved, but smoking is banned. This erratic legislature leads to lower purchasing from patients, endangering the viability of the cannabis market in the state.
License and Financial requirements
2015 was the year in which the first and last application for medical cannabis businesses process was open. For this procedure, applicants were required to submit:
- $10,000 non-refundable application fee
- $200,000 registration fee, refunded to applicants not issued a registration
Licensing and renewal fees are quite steep in New York state:
- Registered Organization Registration Fee= $200,000 (submitted at time of application, and refunded if application is subsequently denied)
- Registered Organization Registration Renewal Fee= $200,000 (submitted at time of application, and refunded if application is subsequently denied)
How much does a marijuana Dispensary in New York make?
The time frame varies greatly on how long it takes to get a cannabis business up and running, but it can often take one year or more to get finances in order, acquire necessary licenses, get suppliers and employees lined up, etc.
Links to consulting companies that can help open a marijuana dispensary in New York
Looking to start a marijuana dispensary in New York? The consulting companies listed below provide a wide range of services from helping with state licensing requirements and applications to running and stocking your business.
- Canna Advisors
- Medicine Man Technologies
- Green Rush Consulting
- Quantum 9 Inc.
- Comprehensive Cannabis Consulting