New York receives 903 applications for its cannabis retail program

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The state’s recreational cannabis market is going to be one of the biggest in the country

More than 900 applicants appear to be extremely interested in becoming the first recreational marijuana retail operators in New York State. Since the application window opened, the state’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has not stopped registering a large number of interested parties. This is not surprising, considering that expectations for this market are extremely high.

According to the OCM in a midweek release, conditional adult-use retail dispensary (CAURD) licenses “will create countless opportunities for our communities and future.” In all, there were 903 applicants who applied during a unique one-month window that closed earlier this week.

With the goal of distributing them to 14 regions across the state, OCM officials are seeking to approve up to 150 CAURD licenses. It was made clear that the number of licenses in each region is based on population.

In addition, OCM stressed that these types of licenses are specifically reserved for companies that qualify under the social equity program. The governor of the Empire State has been consistent in that she wants to give priority to those people who were affected due to criminalization.

Simply put, applications were limited to those criminalized under prohibition or those who have an immediate family member convicted of a cannabis-related offense before March 31, 2021. That day was when former Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.

“New York is the first state in the country to set building a truly equitable and inclusive cannabis industry as its North Star,” said OCM Equity Director Damian Fagon while reviewing CAURD’s application last month.” Every day, we are fighting for the goals and priorities of our cannabis law to deliver an opportunity to those most impacted by the disproportionate enforcement of cannabis prohibition.”