New York is doubling the number of licenses it’s awarding for a first round of legal cannabis shops, regulators announced, though only a fraction of the dispensaries already authorized have opened so far and a court ruling has put licensing on hold in some areas.
Nearly two years after legalizing recreational cannabis for adult use, the state continues working to get its potentially large legal market into high gear.
What is the status of New York cannabis licenses?
So far, 66 licenses have been awarded of the 150 licences for dispensaries which were originally scheduled to be awarded by the state. The first batch going to non-profit organizations or applicants with both business expertise and a personal or family history of marijuana convictions.
Executive Director Chris Alexander informed the state Cannabis Control Board on Thursday that the state cannabis office now plans to issue 300 such permits after receiving over 900 applications.
The state is appealing the decision, which affects Brooklyn, central New York, the Finger Lakes, the mid-Hudson region, and western New York.
How does this change the allocation of New York Dispensaries?
The New York State Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act of 2021, which legalized adult marijuana use in the state, aims to create an equitable market to mitigate the effects of unequal cannabis prohibition enforcement and prioritize licenses for those with cannabis convictions or close family members. According to the OCM, approximately 900 applications for CAURD licenses have been received.
“With this expansion, more entrepreneurs will be able to participate in the first wave of this industry, allowing them to capitalize on the growing demand for cannabis products,” said Tremaine Wright, chair of the Cannabis Control Board. “As more businesses enter this market, the innovation and competition will increase, leading to better quality experiences for consumers. The expansion of New York’s cannabis market will benefit everyone involved in this exciting industry.”
How will the announcement effect the growth of the state’s Seeding Opportunity initiative?
The announcement will allow for the expansion of the state’s Seeding Opportunity initiative, which allows for the operation of these businesses by people affected by cannabis prohibition and non-profit organizations that help people who have been incarcerated.
By giving priority for these licences to individuals with cannabis convictions, the New York State Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act of 2021 (MRTA) aims to build an equitable market that helps overcome the effects of disproportionate cannabis prohibition enforcement.
This licencing effort was bolstered by the establishment of the $200 million New York State Social Equity Cannabis Fund, a public-private partnership that provided renovated retail locations to the first 150 licensees – a first-of-its-kind effort in the country to break down barriers.
Approximately, 40% of the proposed licenses are allocated for parts of the state where the state can’t issue them at the moment, under a November ruling from a federal judge. The decision froze licensing in certain areas during an ongoing lawsuit over license rules regarding applicants’ ties to New York.
How we can help?
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