I used to sling eighths and quarters in my dorm room. How can I open my own legal pot store in New York?
Any chance your dad’s name is on the Forbes 400 list? If the answer is yes, you are one step closer to certification, but still miles away. In 2014, after the medical marijuana bill was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, 43 companies applied for certification, and five were chosen. Applicants paid a non-refundable $10,000 fee and a $200,000 deposit just to be considered. Then the real costs began. Basically a company’s infrastructure had to be in place, staff picked, leases signed, etc. All companies in the program are vertically integrated, which means plans had to be laid out for growing, harvesting, manufacturing, and selling the product.
Following that, businesses vying for approval hired teams of lawyers and lobbyists to argue their cases. Yes, teams. It’s estimated that the five groups that were ultimately chosen had spent a combined $50,000,000 dollars to get there. And these companies are not exactly doing dab hits and kicking a hacky sack around with one another. They are highly competitive. In fact, when the state decided to register five more companies, the original five, in an effort to preserve the hegemony of their medical cannabis cartel, sued to block the authorization of their competition. That suit was tossed, allowing now for a total of ten legal companies in New York state. As for future openings, a representative of the Department of Health told Thrillist that “no new registrations are being contemplated.”
And FYI: Under the current statutes, anyone with a felony pot conviction on their records can kiss any hopes of being a part of New York’s legal medical marijuana industry goodbye. So much for the healing of the nation.