New York State has begun accepting applications for its medical marijuana licenses this week. Applicants can submit questions through May 5th and the Department of Health Services (DOH) must answer those questions by May 14th.
The deadline for filing an application is May 29th. The nonrefundable application fee is $10,000 and the registration fee is $200,000.The approved applicants will be announced some time in July.
Only five applicants will be approved to cultivate and dispense approved medical marijuana and they are each limited to four dispensaries. This is where things get a little challenging for the approved licensees. The dispensaries must be geographically dispensed or located in multiple counties across the state, but not in counties that are neighboring or in close proximity. So if you choose New York County, which includes Manhattan and the boroughs, be prepared to give up the suburbs of Westchester or Long Island's Nassau county. There will be no delivery services unless the DOH provides prior written approval.
According to the statute, these approved licensees had better be ready to hit the ground running as the implementation date for the program is January 5, 2016. Even if a business is approved and licensed, it will need to secure a location and get local approval before building the facility. David Lipton Managing Director of Advanced Grow Labs already operates such a business in Connecticut and plans to apply for a license in New York. "If you go about it the right way, a town in New York may be receptive," said Lipton. "A lot of people will apply in New York and there's lot of money, but it's hard to do."