Notable Players

A Deeper Look At This State

Regulatory Framework

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) was signed into law on March 31, 20221, legalizing adult-use cannabis in New York. In May of 2022, New York regulators approved a second batch of applications for recreational marijuana cultivators as the state prepared for the launch of retail sales "later this year". What we know for sure is that the newly licensed operators will be prohibited from vertical integration - giving a true leg-up to the existing operators in the state.

Now that the state has fully legalized the plant and future participants are already applying for licenses, the Workforce Development Institute and Cornell University have teamed up to form the Cannabis Workforce Initiative. Members of this joint effort seek to connect people interested in joining the industry, whilst providing educational and training resources.

Notable Market Activity

May 2022 | MedMen to sell New York operations to Ascend Wellness Holdings for $88MM

March 2022 | Cresco announced acquisition of Columbia Care for $1.8B

March 2022 | RIV Capital Inc. announces acquisition to acquire majority stake in Etain, LLC from Peckham Family for approximately $250MM

February 2022 | Verano agrees to acquire Goodness Growth Holdings in a deal valued at about $413MM in stock

August 2019 | GTI acquires Fiorello Pharmaceuticals

October 2019 | Cresco acquires Glouscher Street Capital, LLC

November 2017 | MedMen acquires Bloomfield Industries

What's the Play?

With nearly 20MM residents and one of the highest GDP per capita in the US,  New York is poised to ultimately generate over $4B in annual cannabis sales. With nine of the 10 licenses being owned by the largest MSOs, New York is the land of bigs. Operators who took the cash burn to build infrastructure will be rewarded with a foothold in the market. Much like Illinois, whoever can build out cultivation will have a multi-year window of insatiable demand at industry-high prices. The market is primed, but out of state investors will likely need to wait eighteen months for the new licensing structure to be put in place.

With the recent legalization, New York is poised to be one of the biggest cannabis markets in the United States. Unfortunately, the current lack of licensing makes it difficult to discern who will be able to take home the biggest bite of the apple. What we do know is that the 10 current licensees have a leg up on the industry with the opportunity to be the only vertically integrated operators in the state.  

Current operators should begin ramping up production as adult-use sales started in early 2023.

New licensees looking to get in on the racket will be forced to play catch-up with some of the biggest names in cannabis. No need to fret however, as the current operators will not be able to handle the new market alone. Opportunity abounds in the Empire state.  

Market Snapshot

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By The Numbers



21+ Population


Annual Tourists


Medicinal Legalization


Adult-Use Legalization


First Adult-Use Sales


MMJ Patients


Monthly Revenue


Cultivation Cap

No Limit

Cultivation Licenses

302/No Limit (Operational/Limit)*

Retail Licenses

38/38 (Operational/Limit)*

Retail License Cap per Operator


Vertical Integration




MMJ Qualifications


Adult Population/ # Retail Licenses


Accepts Out of State MMJ


MMJ Patients / # Retail Licenses

*Each vertically integrated license can open four dispensaries for a total of 40 dispensaries across the state.

Top Cultivators

Notable Market Activity

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Proprietary Sharp Capital Advisors data - compiled using various sources including state and local government data

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