Borrowing from the New York State Liquor Authority’s three-tier system under which alcohol beverage licensing has operated for nearly a century, cannabis licensing is generally divided into five types of activities: cultivation, processing, distribution, retail dispensing, and on-site consumption.

The following chart provides a brief overview of the various licenses available and the activities they permit.





Cannabinoid Hemp and Hemp Extract


Adult-Use Cultivator License

Adult-Use Cooperative License

Microbusiness License

Registered Organization Adult-Use Cultivator Processor Distributor Retail Dispensary License

Registered Organization Adult-Use Cultivator Processor and Distributor License


Hemp Grower’s Authorization


Adult-Use Processor License


Cannabinoid Hemp Processor License


Adult-Use Distributor


Retail Dispensing

Adult-Use Retail Dispensary License


Registered Organization

Cannabinoid Hemp Retailer License

On-Site Consumption

Adult-Use On-Site Consumption License


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