How To Work At A Dispensary In New-York

How to get licensed or badged to work in the cannabis industry in your state:
Shape of New York

Cannabis Licensing in New York

Adult Use:
Hiring Timeline:
Not Specified

Cannabis Job Market Overview:

In April 2021, New York legalized cannabis for adults 21+. Recreational sales began on December 29, 2023.

Key Points:

  • Retail Growth: 165 dispensary licenses approved, expanding options and access.
  • Legal Complexities: Court rulings, like allowing 23 stores to open, highlight intricate industry dynamics.
  • Industry Resilience: Despite legal challenges, the industry persists, emphasizing regulatory understanding.
  • Regulatory Changes: New York's cannabis market adapts regulations; staying informed ensures compliance.
Cannabis Job Requirements & Application Process:

While there are no specific licenses or cards required to be an employee at a New York cannabis facility, dispensary owners must register all employees with the New York Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and are required to be 18 years or older.

Cannabis Job Background Check Requirements:

Per legislation signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2021, reduced penalties will be implemented for the possession and sale of cannabis. Additionally, the legislation “creates automatic expungement or resentencing for anyone with a previous marijuana conviction that would now be legal under the law.” This means that once the conviction is expunged, it will not show up on a background check and cannot be used against an applicant seeking employment.

However, state law will require a basic criminal background check that goes back seven years, and the following criteria will prevent a candidate from working at a plant-touching business:

"Registered organizations shall not be managed by or employ anyone who has been convicted within three years of the date of hire, of any felony related to the functions or duties of operating a business, except that if the board determines that the manager or employee is otherwise suitable to be hired, and hiring the manager or employee would not compromise public safety, the board shall conduct a thorough review of the nature of the crime, conviction, circumstances, and evidence of rehabilitation of the manager or employee, and shall evaluate the suitability of the manager or employee based on the evidence found through the review. In determining which offenses are substantially related to the functions or duties of operating a business, the board shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a) a felony conviction involving fraud, money laundering, forgery and other unlawful conduct related to owning and operating a business; and

(b) a felony conviction for hiring, employing or using a minor in transporting, carrying, selling, giving away, preparing for sale, or peddling, any controlled substance, or selling, offering to sell, furnishing, offering to furnish, administering, or giving any controlled substance to a minor."

The law stipulates an exception for certain drug-related convictions: "A felony conviction for the sale or possession of drugs, narcotics, or controlled substances is not substantially related. This subdivision shall only apply to managers or employees who come into contact with or handle medical cannabis."

Additional information on background check requirements will be provided if added or amended by the state.

Additional Links:
Additional Job & Salary Information:

2022 Salary Guide

2023 Jobs Report

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