It's been a little more than a year and a half since New York State enacted the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act that officially allowed adults to use cannabis and marijuana-related products recreationally in the Empire State.

The passage of the cannabis law created a pathway for businesses to begin legally selling marijuana and for adults to begin legally using the product. However, the last two years have been slow for companies trying to obtain an Adult-Use Retail Dispensary License or a Medical Dispensary License from the New York State Office of Cannabis Management.

That lack of progress has caused a fair bit of strife and numerous complaints and lawsuits for many people trying to become licensed.

However, things are moving slowly. There are at least two new businesses in New York State that are happy to have been granted a license and are now open.

Cannabis Licenses Granted To Two Western New York Dispensaries

Earlier in December, New York State announced that 13 new dispensaries have either recently opened or will open very soon, increasing the number of adult-use dispensaries opened this year to almost 40.

Of the 13 new dispensaries that have opened, two of them are in Western New York:

  • Premier Earth Corp, located at 1297 Hertel Ave in Buffalo, 14216, and
  • MJ Dispensary, located at 900 Jefferson Road in Rochester, 14623.

The remainder of the dispensaries that have opened are spread throughout the state, including Potsdam, New York City, and Albany.

How To Become Licensed To Sell Cannabis In New York State?

While the 2023 deadline to apply for a license to open an adult-use cannabis dispensary has passed, New York State officials have made plenty of resources available for people to learn what they need to do to become licensed.

To be eligible to have a license, initially, you have to be at least 21 years old and cannot have been convicted of certain crimes within the last five years.

The process starts on the New York State website. You can find out more information about this process here.

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