New York’s Retail Dispensary Build-Out Requirements

Without much fanfare, the Dormitory Authority – State of New York (or DASNY) issued a request for proposal (RFP) for design-build services for conditional adult-use retail dispensaries (CAURDs). DASNY included a concept program (see Addendum 3) that details the build-out requirements for retail dispensaries selected as part of the CAURD social equity program. The Cannabis Control Board (CCB) recently announced that DASNY received more than 20 bids from design-build firms. Yes, we know, there are a lot of acronyms here.

The RFP very specifically applies only to design-build firms interested in bidding on CAURD build-out contracts. But from a big-picture perspective, the RFP is the first clear indication of what the CCB and Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) envision for adult-use retail dispensaries in New York.

Of course there is no guarantee that the forthcoming rules and regulations for adult-use retail dispensaries will include requirements identical to those detailed in the RFP. But as I explain below, the build-out requirements track a lot of the general operational requirements listed in the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA). It’s our bet that the rules and regulations stick pretty closely to the RFP’s concept program.

So without further adieu, here is some (but not all) of the information we gleaned from the RFP:

Spatial Build-Out Requirements

The dispensaries that are part of the RFP are anticipated to be between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet and will have the following features:

  • Open layout to enable disbursement and flow of visitors.
  • A branding wall and sales counters and services space that include 5-10 point of sale (POS) areas.
  • Shelving and floor displays that clearly display products.
  • There should be product receivables area and a cannabis processing work room, as well as a quarantine/secure space storeroom area.
  • The circulation from “back of house” to the sales area should be shielded from view to the extent possible.
  • The vault door should be shielded from customer view. 
Security Requirements

A security plan must include interior video surveillance, exterior video surveillance, interior access controls, exterior access controls and both interior and exterior intrusion systems. Applicants will need to provide a security floor plan for each location prior to build-out of each dispensary based on the master security plan. 

One key point: a security system must be capable of 24 hour recording and producing still photos and date/time stamps. A backup power system that allows the CAURD to remain operational during a power outage is required and the perimeter around the facility must be illuminated.

Cannabis Storage

Cannabis and ready for sale, packaged cannabis-containing products must be stored within a secure room or approved safe in such manner as to protect against physical, chemical and microbial contamination and deterioration.

Odor Mitigation

Dispensaries must implement and maintain appropriate ventilation and filtration systems to satisfy unwholesome or noxious odor nuisance standards that may be in place within the local jurisdiction.

Point of Sale Systems/Equipment

POS system software such as Leaf Logix will be required. Hardware such as computers or iPads and scanners will also be required as part of the POS system and must be compatible with the POS software scanners that in turn are compatible with Leaf Logix.

Again, this is just a brief summary of the requirements contained in the RFP. For anyone who is considering applying for a retail dispensary, closely reviewing (or consulting with an attorney who has reviewed) the RFP’s concept program is a must. Stay tuned for further developments on New York’s adult-use licensing progress!