Cannabis was legalized for adult possession and consumption in New York State through the passage of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) in April 2021. Sale of adult recreational cannabis is currently legal only through licensed Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensaries (CAURDs) across the State. Ithaca hosts one of the first licensed dispensaries in the Southern Tier region at 119 East State Street on the Ithaca Commons. A CAURD license has also been issued for a second Ithaca location at 205 North Fulton Street. Once New York State begins issuing regular licenses, licensed and legal cannabis business activity, from cultivation to testing, processing, sales and other business activity created by this new industry, will represent an economic development opportunity for the City of Ithaca.

Unlicensed sales of cannabis are illegal. The city will continue to work with the New York State Office of Cannabis Management and others to pursue enforcement against unlicensed businesses selling cannabis illegally. Illicit cannabis stores undercut the equity goals of New York’s cannabis law, don’t contribute to the community and sell untested and untaxed products. Regulated adult-use cannabis businesses are required, in addition to being licensed by the Cannabis Control Board, comply with all state and local laws including providing clear and verifiable information to consumers regarding the products that they are consuming, checking identification of consumers to ensure that cannabis is not being marketed to and sales are not being made to young people, and collecting and depositing tax revenue that will support New York State’s schools and support community revitalization.

New York State offers a verification tool to help inform consumers that a dispensary is licensed and selling tested, safer products. For more information

This page provides responses to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the City of Ithaca’s approach to managing cannabis-related business activity. For more information about the MRTA and New York State cannabis regulations and programs visit the New York State Office of Cannabis Management.