New York has a huge population, and when combined with the fact that there will be a very limited number of licenses to be approved, the stakes are very, very high. The wait for the application process to open is over, and New York is now taking applications for medical marijuana business licenses. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
The state’s health department is now accepting applications for five licenses that will allow companies to grow and sell medical marijuana. Officials plan to choose winners in the coming weeks and register companies for medical cannabis production beginning in July, according to an NBC affiliate.
Many observers estimate that it will cost $1 million or more to navigate through the licensingand tens of millions of dollars to start up their companies. Those selected will be able to cultivate medical cannabis and open up to four dispensaries apiece, for a total of just 20 dispensaries in the entire state.
The application fee to apply is going to be $10,000. If approved, the company would have to pay another $200,000. That of course doesn’t include the cost of getting all of the companies ‘ducks in a row’ so to speak. I talked to a company leader in Illinois that went through a similar process, and he said that they paid roughly $1,000,000 in addition to the application fees because they knew that the application reviewers would be looking to see how much due diligence was performed. That company didn’t receive any licenses in Illinois, and I’d imagine the same thing will happen to a lot of other companies in New York.
I am not a fan of the limited license framework for a medical marijuana program. That’s what is going on in Canada right now, and patients either have to pay outlandish prices for inferior meds, be forced to visit an illegal dispensary, or go to the black market. If New York’s medical marijuana program is ever going to reach it’s full potential, a lot of changes need to be made, both with the amount of licenses issued, and to the list of qualifying conditions that patients can qualify under.