New York State Issues Proposed Medical Cannabis Industry Regulations


In September 2014, the State of New York legalized medical cannabis via the New York Legislature. It was a very significant victory for the medical cannabis industry and for patients considering how populous of a state New York is. New York recently issued proposed medical cannabis industry regulations. As expected, they are strict, and have a high barrier to enter the New York medical cannabis market. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

Businesses seeking to become one of five companies that will be allowed to operate up to four dispensaries each must pay a $10,000 application fee. They also must submit a $200,000 check for the actual license, though that will be refunded if the application is denied.

If approved, the license would be valid for two years, according to the regulations. Businesses would lose their permit if they don’t start operations within six months of approval.

Each cultivator would be allowed to grow only five strains, which advocates say will limit income for businesses and put undue stress on the industry, making it difficult for the program to move forward.

New York is a great example of what the medical marijuana industry will likely look like in states that legalize medical cannabis in the future. There will be heavy regulations, limits on strains, a small amount of licenses being issued, and hefty fees for those licenses. Compare that to a state like Oregon, which has a $4,000 fee to get a dispensary license, and assuming there is not a moratorium on dispensaries in the city being applied in, there are no limits on the number of licenses that can be issued, nor are there any restrictions on strains or forms of cannabis that can be sold. Over time, states will understand the need for a balanced and sensible regulatory system and many states will have to work out the kinks.

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.