New York Awards First 36 Retail Cannabis Licenses

New York officials have awarded the state’s first adult-use cannabis licenses, prioritizing individuals who were disproportionately affected by the damages of prohibition.

Full story after the jump.

The New York Office of Cannabis Management issued adult-use cannabis retail licenses on Monday to 36 applicants including 28 “justice-involved” individuals and eight nonprofit organizations.

The candidates were chosen from a pool of 903 applicants, each vying for one of the state’s 175 anticipated retail cannabis licenses. Officials plan to issue 150 of the licenses to businesses with the remaining 25 being reserved for nonprofits. The first licensing wave was reserved for businesses owned by people who were disproportionately affected by the drug war.

The regulatory body also posted on Twitter that it would allow qualifying businesses to start with delivery services. “This will help jumpstart sales and enable these small business owners to generate capital and scale their operations,” OCM tweeted. Officials have previously stated that they intend for legal adult-use sales to launch by the end of the year.

The OCM listed the winning applicants by their application numbers (not company names) but according to a New York Times report, at least three New York City-based nonprofits were included including LIFE Camp, which would become the first Black woman-led nonprofit to receive a license.

New York‘s retail cannabis licensing process was delayed earlier this month after a Michigan-based cannabis company filed a lawsuit against the state’s licensing requirements.

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