New York Cannabis Distributor License | MAY 2022 UPDATE


New York Cannabis Distributor License

Updated in May 2022

New York has become officially one of the states that have legalized the adult-use marijuana business industry. While there are still many advances toward the full business deployment in the state, we’ll touch on some points of the New York Cannabis Distributor License

New York lawmakers created a recreational marijuana distributor license for those interested in starting a cannabis business to get in the industry. After Bill S854 was presented to and approved by the state Senate, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed it for final approval, making NY one of the sixteenth states to legalize recreational marijuana.

The proposed recreational cannabis distributor license is one of the 10 types of cannabis licenses available in the Big Apple. And while we still have to wait for more information related to marijuana regulation, the application process, and due dates, we can give you information about the adult-use distributor license for you to familiarize yourself and consider your options to start your marijuana business since the New York state has legalized recreational marijuana.

What is an Adult-use cannabis distributor license?  

A distributor’s license shall authorize the acquisition, possession, distribution, and sale of cannabis from the licensed premises of a licensed adult-use cultivator, processor, small business adult-use cooperative, or microbusiness authorized to sell adult-use cannabis, to duly licensed retail dispensaries.

“Distributor” means any person who sells at wholesale any cannabis product, except medical cannabis, for the sale of which a license is required under the provisions of this chapter.

“Wholesale” means to solicit or receive an order for, to keep or expose for sale, and to keep with intent to sell, made by any licensed person, whether principal, proprietor, agent or employee of any adult-use, medical-use cannabis or cannabis product or cannabinoid hemp and hemp extract product for purposes of resale.




What will allow me a recreational marijuana distributor license to do?

It will allow a business entity to engage in the wholesale distribution of cannabis products from licensed cultivators and manufacturers to licensed retailers. This also includes the transportation of cannabis products within the state. New Yorkers can expect to see an application process for this type of cannabis license open in late 2022.

New York is not the only state to have created a cannabis distributor license. California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington all have some form of this cannabis license. New York’s version will be modeled after these other states’ licenses with some slight modifications to fit New York’s unique circumstances.

If you want to get your cannabis business started on the right foot, then securing a cannabis distributor license should be one of your top priorities.

What will the requirements for a distributor license?

To qualify for a New York cannabis distributor license, applicants must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age;
  • Have U.S. citizenship or legal status as a permanent resident
  • Be a New York resident
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Not have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude

Limitations for the Adult-use Distributor License

new york cannabis distributor license​No distributor is allowed to have a direct or indirect economic interest in any adult-use retail dispensary or in any adult-use cultivator or processor licensed or in any registered organization. This restriction does not prohibit a  registered organization authorized from being granted licensure by the board to distribute adult-use marijuana products cultivated and processed by the registered organization to licensed adult-use retail dispensaries owned and operated by such registered organizations.

A distributor will not be prevented from charging an appropriate fee, authorized by the board, for the distribution of cannabis,  including based on the volume of cannabis distributed. 

If you’re interested in starting a cannabis business, then make sure to keep an eye out for when the adult-use cannabis application becomes available. In the meantime, start familiarizing yourself with the adult-use marijuana distributor license requirements and get ready to submit your application!

If you want to be on top of what’s happening in the cannabis industry, you should take a look at our map of marijuana legality by state.

Other Types of New York Cannabis Licenses

Don’t miss out on our Marijuana Legalization Map where you can browse the current status of laws in every state in the United States and see all our posts on each of them.


Thomas Howard

Thomas Howard

Licensed to practice since 2008, Thomas Howard has represented numerous financial institutions in litigation to enforce their security interests.
Homegrown Cannabis Co's Cannabis Seeds
Thomas Howard

Thomas Howard

Licensed to practice since 2008, Thomas Howard has represented numerous financial institutions in litigation to enforce their security interests.

Table of Contents

Related Posts

Want to win a license?

Here’s where you can learn how we’ve won before and will again.