State begins taking applications for retail Cannabis Dispensary Licenses

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NEW YORK—The state Office of Cannabis Management is taking applications for people interested in applying for a retail marijuana dispensary license, the board said Thursday at a virtual news conference. 

The launch of the application portal for CAURD, Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary Licenses, the first adult-use retail cannabis dispensaries to open, is part of the state’s effort to give business opportunities to those affected most by the state’s once-strict marijuana laws.

“From Brooklyn to Buffalo, Montauk to Plattsburgh, we are building something different in the Empire State. We’re launching a cannabis industry with individuals who suffered and we’re directly impacted by the unjust prohibition of cannabis,” Tremaine Wright, the chair of the Cannabis Control Board, said in a news release. “We are leading with justice-impacted entrepreneurs because NY is committed to restoration and reinvestment. And  the entrepreneurs that will be granted licenses are poised for success because of their business experience and the host of supports that will be afforded through the Seeding Opportunity Initiative. 

The OCM says those eligible must been convicted of a marijuana-related offense prior to the legalization of marijuana on March 31, 2021 or have had a parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, or dependent with a previous marijuana conviction.

The agency added applicants must have experience owning and operating a qualifying business that has been profitable for at least two years. The application window will close on Sept. 26, 2022.    

“I am so proud that we in New York are making sure these first-to-market, turnkey retail operations go to those who have had past marijuana-related convictions and their family members,” Damian Fagon, chief equity officer at OCM said, in a statement. “We’ve made the application process as simple as possible, so you won’t need a third party’s help. And we’re making sure real New Yorkers have a fair shot at getting in on the ground floor of this industry. And we’re just getting started.”

The OCM expects the state’s cannabis market to reach $4.2 billion by 2027 and to create up to 60,000 jobs. 

SUNY and CUNY community colleges will also receive $5 million funds to support programs that provide pathways to employment in the cannabis industry, the release said.

Region: New York