Legal Cannabis in Rochester

Alert! City Council is holding a Work Session today at 4:20 pm to discuss zoning and regulations for dispensaries and on-site consumption lounges! It will be livestreamed on City Council's youtube channel here. Listen in!

The Marihuana and Taxation Act (MRTA) was signed into law on March 31, 2021 legalizing adult use cannabis in the State of New York. The City of Rochester opted-in to the full cannabis industry to maximize the economic opportunities and to join the State’s efforts to address the harm caused by the war on drugs.

The State law provides the framework for licensing. The State is currently developing regulations to further define the licensing process and requirements for cannabis businesses. Additionally, the State allows cities to regulate the “time, place, and manner” of dispensaries and on-site consumption lounges. Accordingly, the City has begun the process of developing local cannabis policy.

What types of businesses will be licensed? 

  • Cultivator
  • Processor
  • Distributor
  • Dispensary
  • On-Site Consumption
  • Delivery
  • Nursery
  • Microbusiness (includes all phases from seed to sale)
  • Cooperative (includes all phases except dispensing)
How do I learn more about applying for a license?  How do I stay up-to-date as the State develops regulations?

The State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) will license cannabis businesses to grow and sell cannabis in New York. OCM is also responsible for drafting the State’s cannabis business regulations. The Cannabis Control Board is the decision-making body for cannabis licensing and regulations and meets once per month. Visit the OCM website here for updates, to check for upcoming Cannabis Control Board meetings, watch past meetings, or to subscribe to email notifications. 

How do I get involved or stay up-to-date with the City’s development of local cannabis policy?

The City is now engaged in outreach about cannabis businesses:

Other resources