State expected to approve 36 marijuana retail dispensary licenses Monday
New York state's Cannabis Control Board is expected to approve its first set of marijuana retail dispensary licenses at a meeting Monday morning, marking a major step toward creating a market for legal marijuana in New York.
In anticipation of the meeting, the Office of Cannabis Management released draft regulations for the market Sunday and announced that 36 businesses and nonprofits are under consideration for a license.
They are mostly owned by people who have been convicted of a marijuana-related offense themselves or a close relative. The list includes at least three nonprofits based in the city.
State regulators have previously said they hope to have the first retail locations up and running by the end of the year. However, a recent lawsuit has held up licenses in several districts.
The company, Variscite NY One, is challenging the state's requirement that applicants have a marijuana-related offense in New York to be eligible for a license.
There’s a temporary block in six regions of the state, including Brooklyn, because of the lawsuit.
The state Office of Cannabis Management began taking applications for people interested in applying for a retail marijuana dispensary license in August.
More than 900 would-be pot shop operators have applied for a chance to open New York state’s first legal dispensaries for recreational marijuana, regulators said.
New York legalized recreational use of marijuana in March 2021, but is still in the process of licensing people to sell it.
The OCM expects the state’s cannabis market to reach $4.2 billion by 2027 and to create up to 60,000 jobs.