New York has given 36 cannabis companies licenses in its first round of approvals

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The state is ready to make the most of recent changes to expand its cannabis market

New York continues to take giant steps toward the official launch of recreational cannabis. In a historic moment in Harlem, state regulators voted to grant the first 36 dispensary licenses in the Empire State. As previously stated, these opportunities were prioritized for nonprofits and businesses whose owners were previously affected due to the state’s marijuana prohibition.

28 justice-involved individuals, as well as eight nonprofits are now awarded conditional adult-use recreational dispensary (CAURD) licenses. The decision was made after the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) board held a public meeting.

“These are the types of individuals and organizations that the MRTA (Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act) envisioned as the bedrock of our industry,” said Chris Alexander, OCM Executive Director. “We’ll continue to issue licenses on a rolling basis as we have with other license types.”

Considering that over 900 applications were submitted in a span of one month (September 25 – August 26), OCM made it clear that this is undoubtedly the first group of best-in-class licensees. The state is now expected to grant additional licenses to 122 companies and 17 non-profit organizations.

Anthony Crapanzano, Brian Stark Enterprises, Capital District Cannabis & Wellness, Florisun, Growth Industries and Kush & Kemet were among the entities benefiting in this first wave. More CAURD retail application windows are expected to open in 2023. This whole process suggests how big the recreational cannabis market in New York will become, competing with major powerhouses like California or Colorado.