Cannabis Businesses and Start-ups


The New York State Department of Labor is here to help new business be positioned for success in the new adult use cannabis industry, cannabinoid hemp, or medical cannabis fields. We also know that existing businesses are expected to benefit from the ancillary occupations that will grow with the expansion of the cannabis industry. 

**The regulatory framework is outlined in cannabis law, and is currently under development by the New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM). Please visit the OCM website for updated information on cannabis business licenses and overall regulations as it becomes available.

Starting a Cannabis Business

Starting a cannabis business requires working with the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), your local government offices and several NYS agencies. You will need to make sure you have the correct licensing and permits as well as proper insurance. Click on the button below to find out more information on how to get your business up and running in New York State.

Start a business in NYS


You can also head over to NYS Business Express to find more business guides, checklists and additional information from our New York State Business Center.

Cannabis Licenses

The Office of Cannabis Management is charged with issuing licenses for businesses to participate in the adult-use, medical and cannabinoid hemp industries. Please follow their progress by visiting their website for updates about the licensing process as it becomes available. 


NYSDOL Business Services

If you need assistance with recruiting talent, navigating hiring incentives, or have other HR questions, the NYS Department of Labor offers free services to business. Visit the Services for Businesses Page to learn more. 

Social and Economic Equity

Social and economic equity in cannabis is a leading focus in New York State. The Marihuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA) establishes a goal to award 50% of all adult-use licenses to social and economic equity applicants. Social and economic equity applicants include individuals who have lived in communities disproportionally impacted by the War on Drugs and other underrepresented groups including minority and women owned businesses, distressed farmers, and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. Information on Social and Economic Equity, including the definitions of these groups as set out in the MRTA, and as outlined in the Cannabis Social and Economic factsheet.