New York is almost ready to start issuing marijuana dispensary licenses

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The state will issue a round of licenses in a few weeks, boosting its social equity initiatives

In about two weeks, New York says it will have all the paperwork in place to begin accepting applications for marijuana dispensaries. In an effort to maintain social equity, people harmed by the war on drugs are expected to be given priority during this process.

The news was announced yesterday by Empire State marijuana regulators. It indicated that they are now ready to officially begin accepting applications for the state’s first adult-use retail licenses.

The process, which is set to begin on August 25, will be reserved for people affected by the war on drugs. This had already been stated by Governor Kathy Hochul, who, in addition to being a staunch believer in cannabis reform, has gone out of her way to provide an environment of social equity in this new market.

The move comes just a month after the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) gave the go-ahead to the initial adult conditional use license rules, in addition to approving a mock-up of the application form. All those who want to qualify for this first round must have faced a conviction for a marijuana-related offense before legalization was enacted in the state. Having a direct relative with such a conviction may also be helpful for this application. In addition, experience in operating a qualified business is required.

The New York State Business Express website will be enabled to obtain the application online. Regulators have called for all potential applicants to begin gathering the necessary paperwork before the portal opens this month. The process will be completed by September 26.

“Today’s announcement brings us to the precipice of legal, licensed cannabis sales in New York State,” CCB Chair Tremaine Wright said in a press release yesterday. “With the Seeding Opportunity Initiative, New York has affirmed our commitment to making sure the first sales are conducted by those harmed by prohibition.”