ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — The Office of Cannabis Management announced it will be accepting applications for conditional adult-use retail dispensaries starting August 25.
New York is one of 19 states that’s legalized recreational cannabis. The retail licenses will prioritize people who have been previously convicted of marijuana-related crimes and have experience operating a business. Studies show that people of color were disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition.
Chris Alexander, Executive Director for New York’s Cannabis Control Board says, the priority of dispensary licenses are a way for the state to right their wrongs, “I would also add though that you know, cannabis prohibition enforcement in New York was pretty significant. You know New York City was the marijuana arrest capital of the world so we’ve got a lot of folks who got arrests and conviction,” he said.
During the Cannabis Control Board meeting on Monday, members also announced two additional batches of licenses:19 cultivator licenses and 15 processor licenses. The cultivator licenses will give more New York farmers the go-ahead to grow cannabis containing THC. The processor licenses will allow businesses that are already licensed to process cannabinoid hemp to sell a variation of cannabis products.
Juliana Whitney is President of The Cann Strategy, which helps with operations and licensing for cannabis markets in the United States. Whitney says this will be great for New York’s economy. “It’s not hard to sell, people want it, a lot of people want to have safe access to it so they do go to the dispensaries, and it just does well for any community that it’s a part of. I think almost every state regulatory board would agree with that. They do well from it, and the community does well from it. And then the businesses do as well as they can until federally it’s legalized and then we’ll do even better than,” she said.
Alexander says the Office of Cannabis Management is trying to be as transparent as possible and wants those who can apply to do so by visiting Cannabis.ny.gov. That application deadline ends September 26th.