Final New York Regulations Are As Strict As Feared

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

New York cannabis entrepreneurs at long last have final regulations to scour. But they may not be happy about what they read.

The 121 pages of regulations don’t ease up at all from what was initially passed last year by the state legislature, and led one key state legislator to dub the rules “burdensome”.

“Expanding the initial set of regulations would have subjected the State to unnecessary scrutiny and jeopardized the program’s ability to move forward in any meaningful manner,” the health department said, according to

For example, MMJ advocates were hoping that the state Health Department would expand the list of qualifying medical conditions for cannabis, but that wound up not happening. The department did say that the final rules give the health commissioner the discretion to expand the list down the road, however.

Others had their fingers crossed that the department would increase the number of businesses allowed to cultivate and dispense MMJ; the original law allowed for only five companies to obtain business licenses, and to operate four dispensaries apiece, for a total of 20 in the entire state. But the department stuck with the original number.

The department said it will post information in the near future on its website regarding the upcoming business license application process.