New York awards 110 more adult-use marijuana business licenses

New York awards 110 more adult-use marijuana business licenses

New York regulators on Friday awarded 110 new adult-use marijuana business licenses.

However, the yearslong struggle to launch what was promised to be a multibillion-dollar market is poised to continue.

The state Cannabis Control Board on Friday voted to award:

  • 24 cultivation licenses.
  • 9 distribution licenses.
  • 26 microbusiness licenses.
  • 12 processor licenses.
  • 25 retail licenses.
  • 14 provisional retail licenses.

It’s unclear how quickly the licensed businesses will be able to start operations.

The 110 new licensees represent only a fraction of the entrepreneurs attempting to enter the market.

During a six-week window in the fall, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM)  received more than 2,100 license applications.

In late December, regulators said they’d eventually approve 250 retail permits out of that batch of applications.

New York legalized adult-use cannabis in March 2021, but the first legal dispensary didn’t open until December 2022.

Since then, New York retailers have recorded at least $174 million in legal cannabis sales, according to OCM figures released Friday.

By contrast, Missouri – which legalized recreational cannabis in November 2022 – recorded roughly $1.04 billion in adult-use sales since the first store opened in February 2023.

As of Friday, 70 adult-use stores are open for business in New York, according to OCM data.

The New York market has been hampered by lawsuits that delayed the licensing process and thriving illicit operators.

There are as many as 2,000 unlicensed cannabis sellers in New York City alone, Dasheeda Dawson, director of Cannabis NYC, said during Friday’s CCB meeting.

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