Open a Dispensary in New York

Summary of Marijuana Laws

In July 2014, New York enacted the Compassionate Care Act, authorizing a state medical marijuana program. After five medical marijuana Registered Organizations received licensure, the first dispensaries opened doors on January 7, 2016. After medical marijuana patient numbers struggled to grow initially, New York expanded the qualifying conditions in 2017 to include chronic pain and authorized an additional five Registered Organizations.


While there are no current opportunities to apply for marijuana licenses in the Empire State, New York Officials have officially embraced cannabis legalization and are already taking action to expand and regulate commercial cannabis on a larger scale. These progressive politics, in conjunction with the aforementioned 2017 addition of “chronic pain” as a qualifying condition, suggests new marijuana licenses in New York may be forthcoming.


According to the New York City Comptroller, the legalization of adult use marijuana has the potential to create a $3.1 billion market. Under the current medical marijuana program, Marijuana Business Daily estimates a market value of $50-70 million for 2018, increasing from $20-40 million in 2017. As of July 10, 2018, there are 62,256 certified medical marijuana patients and 1,735 registered practitioners recommending medical marijuana to patients in New York.


Content updated July 19, 2018.