New York regulators received more than 900 adult-use retail cannabis dispensary applications before the application window closed on Monday, Syracuse.com reports. The state plans to initially issue up to 150 conditional adult-use retail dispensary licenses in the first round of licensing; however, state regulators have yet to promulgate industry rules.
Individuals who qualify for the conditional licenses must have been arrested in New York for a cannabis offense (or have a family member who was) prior to March 31, 2021, and have operated a profitable business for at least two years. Licenses will also have access to storefronts that are currently being secured and will be built out into dispensary spaces by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), the report says.
A Siena University poll in March found a majority of New Yorkers – 54% – oppose the plan to give the first batch of adult-use licenses to social equity applicants.
The state also plans to grant 25 licenses to qualifying nonprofits but those organizations won’t have access to the DASNY properties or the state’s $200 million social equity cannabis investment fund.
The state plans to award the licenses by region. According to Office of Cannabis Management plans, the Manhattan region is set to receive the most licenses (22), followed by Long Island (20), Brooklyn (19), Mid-Hudson (17), Queens (16), Western New York (11), the Bronx (10), Finger Lakes (9), Central New York and the Capital Region (7 each), the North Country (4), Staten Island and the Southern Tier (3 each), and the Mohawk Valley (2).
While the timeline for the rollout of adult-use dispensaries has shifted from before the end of the year to potentially the middle of next year, the report notes that state officials still expect the first conditional adult-use retail dispensary to open before year’s end.
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