Starting A New York Dispensary - Part 1

November 29, 2022

Opening a Dispensary in New York

With a state that has experts predicting New York to topple $2.2 billion by 2023, your friends at GreenScreens want to support you with this playbook for opening your dispensary in the Big Apple.  

New York joined the roster for states that have legalized recreational cannabis in March of 2021, although medical has been in play since 2014. This was a huge milestone for the state and the potential and opportunity to become a retailer for this sleeping giant is quite attractive.  

There are many critical components to opening a dispensary, and it can and will be overwhelming at times. You’ll need to obtain a license, find a location, invest in staying compliant, banking, staff, and inventory just to name a few. GreenScreens has you covered, and we’ll break it down for you.

Brick and Mortar:

New York is one of the most densely populated regions in the world, it’s the city that never sleeps and the hot commodity when it comes to real estate. While inventory is available, the financial blow is significant for renting space. According to a report by Commercial Cafe, the average commercial rental price is between $25 - $93 per square foot. That’s a big range, and clearly comes down to which borough you want to operate out of. This article by Bridgworks, breaks it down by borough. Manhattan is on the high end of price per square foot at the $93 per square foot sticker price. It is also the most densely populated borough in New York.  

Brooklyn is the third-largest business district and is gaining traction on the market, but it will run you about $50 per square foot. Queens on average runs around $41 per square foot, it’s the largest borough in New York City and has plenty to offer when it comes to diversity. Long Island is on the rise for low vacancy rates, the demand is high and is capturing popularity. Many businesses are relocating to Long Island from Queens and Brooklyn.  

Before you get too excited selecting your location based on price, keep in mind that most states allow individual counties and towns to choose whether or not they want to allow cannabis businesses in their area, this applied to New York too. The counties surveyed by the Democrat & Chronicle in 2019 that are restricting adult-use cannabis sales (although subject to change) include:

  • Columbia
  • Chemung
  • Nassau
  • Putnam
  • Suffolk
  • Cattaraugus (maybe)
  • Oneida (maybe)

The cannabis industry is an ever-changing landscape. New regulations, adoptions and reforms will always keep you guessing, but this gives you a great start to begin looking for the perfect location to open up shop.

See you next week when we dive deeper into New York’s licensing and security. Stay warm and stay tuned, friends!  

GreenScreens blogs are written by our GOAL DIGGERS to educate, inform, amuse and entertain any audience inside or outside the cannabis industry. Enjoy, share and leave a comment!

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