What to do After You’re Awarded a New York Dispensary License

Post-Licensing Guide: Won a New York Dispensary License, But not Sure What to do Next?

Even though over one-hundred New York Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licensees have opened their dispensary doors, only one standard adult-use retail dispensary has managed to do the same. This one standard adult-use dispensary owner is CannDelta’s client.

It is notoriously difficult to transition from license holder to owner and operator of a cannabis dispensary in New York. The post-licensing process is complex and demanding, and there has been very little guidance from New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) about what steps need to be taken in order to get your New York dispensary up and running. 

This is a serious issue for non-provisional license holders since each month’s delay in opening translates into significant financial loss—approximately $450,000 in monthly missed revenue. To make matters worse, non-provisional license holders are holding on to expensive New York property, tacking on an additional and significant monthly expense.

Many people have been left confused, frustrated, and unaware of how to move forward. CannDelta has the answers. Our team has put together a detailed guide and video explanation of what standard adult-use dispensary license holders need to do to open their dispensary. 

The Three Key Post-Licensing Steps

If you’ve secured a cannabis retail license — congratulations! This is a significant milestone, but it’s only the start of your journey. You’ll need to start construction and begin remodeling your storefront. During this build-out phase, make sure you coordinate with a cannabis security installer to integrate every security feature you’ll need to pass your inspection. It’s best to install security features during the build-out phase so that you don’t need to tear down any of your finished renovations after the fact. At this stage you should also select a POS system, and begin forming relationships with vendors, all while preparing your pre-inspection documents.

1. Pre-Inspection Preparation

Preparing your pre-inspection documents is one of the most challenging steps to opening a dispensary. Your pre-inspection documents include your store’s security plans, process flow, and numerous other documents and information that needs to be compiled and submitted to the OCM before you book your final inspection. 

These documents need to be complete and comprehensive so that you don’t face delays. Any gaps or errors in these documents can lead to inspection failures, setting the applicant back by weeks, during which potential revenue is lost.

CannDelta Pre-Inspection Support

We’ll support you with acquiring and creating your pre-inspection documents. Here are some of the requirements we’ll be assisting with: 

  1. Critical Function Parameters.

  2. Essential Security Documentation.

  3. Key Patron Activity Insights.

  4. Mandatory Renovation Records.

  5. Signage Display Requirements.

  6. POS System Compliance Proof.

  7. Vital Security Effectiveness.

Working with CannDelta
cannabis business consultants will guarantee your pre-inspection documents are compliant and accepted by the OCM. Fostering a good relationship with the OCM and submitting complete and comprehensive documents can increase the speed it takes for your dispensary to open. 

The OCM will recognize that you’re a capable cannabis business owner, making them more willing and eager to schedule your inspection and have your dispensary open! Additionally, you pre-inspection documents will be complete and all-encompassing, leaving the OCM with no reason to delay your inspection date. 

The Pre Inspection of Cannabis Stores on the page about dispensary license application

2. The Inspection Process

The Cannabis License Inspection on the page about opening a dispensary

Once your pre-inspection documents are all in order, you’ll need to book the inspection with the OCM and begin preparing. The purpose of this inspection is to make sure that you’re ready to be a business owner, and show that you’re knowledgeable of the regulations.

The OCM needs to be absolutely sure that you’re familiar with what you can, and can’t do as a dispensary owner. So they’ll be asking you very specific questions, essentially quizzing you on your knowledge of operating a New York dispensary

You will also be judged on the impression you make. Being confident and showing that you know the rules and requirements of operating a cannabis business will influence whether you pass or fail your inspection.

Failing this inspection will result in at least two more weeks of constant back and forth with the OCM and more money lost to delays.

Inspection Support

CannDelta will help prepare you for your site inspection. A part of this process involves our experts guiding you through the questions that OCM will ask you during your inspection by holding a mock inspection. This involves our experts walking you through the process, mimicking the OCM’s inspection process. 

CannDelta will also review every detail of your dispensaries site requirements, including a field of view check for your visual surveillance and ensuring your cash drawers are nailed down to the counters at the point of sale, and more.

With CanDelta’s inspection support, you and your dispensary will be 100% ready for inspection day.

3. Post-Inspection Completion

With CannDelta’s support you will have passed your inspection, meaning you’re just about ready to open! All that’s left now is filing tax documents, placing initial product orders, and completing operating procedures.

Product Order

CannDelta’s experts can guide you with your first order and submit it to the OCM. We will help build your initial inventory based on market data to ensure you have the products you’ll need to compete in New York’s market and generate the greatest initial return on your investment. 

Operating Procedures

Your operating procedures won’t be required as soon as you open your dispensary, but the OCM will be looking for them in the following months. These documents cover everything from security measures to environmental plans, which are essential for both compliance and smooth business operations.

Why Choose CannDelta?

Only one out of all of the standard adult-use cannabis retail license holders has successfully opened their dispensary, and that one is a CannDelta client. We assisted them from the initial application all the way to their launch on 4/20, making them the first standard retail dispensary to open in New York.

Our team of cannabis business consultants at CannDelta has launched over 300 cannabis businesses all across America and internationally. If you’re a New York retail license holder, or planning on applying for a license in the future, here’s what we can do to get your dispensary open and operational.

  • Turn-key application and licensing support.


  • Post-licensing support that includes everything you’ll need before, during, and after your OCM inspection.


  • Marketing, website, social media management, startup and on-going support.


  • Everything in between!


Opening a dispensary in New York involves more than just obtaining a cannabis retail license; it requires a detailed understanding of the regulatory environment, strategic planning for operations, and sufficient capital. With professional support, businesses can significantly reduce the time and financial costs associated with opening their doors, positioning themselves for success in New York’s competitive cannabis market.

Frequently Asked Questions

To start a cannabis dispensary in New York, you’ll have to submit a dispensary license application to the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and win an adult-use cannabis retail license. You can apply for an adult-use retail license during eligible application periods.

Getting a dispensary license in New York can be a very challenging process. The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) requires a lot of paperwork and planning as a part of your dispensary license application submission. Anyone interested in applying will also need to wait for the next application window to open before they can apply. There is currently a long list of applications waiting for review.

Applying for a dispensary license in New York requires that you are eligible to apply for the license, and can provide a variety of other components. You must have information about the premises you are licensing, financial statements, business plans, operating procedures and more. You can complete the application using the Office of Cannabis Management’s (OCM) application portal.