New York state's Cannabis Control Board approved 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.
Thirty-six businesses and nonprofits across New York were approved for licenses, the state's Office of Cannabis Management said in a press release.
According to the release, in New York City, licenses went to Nube NYC LLC in the Bronx; Carl M. Anderson III in the Bronx; Royal Leaf NY in the Bronx; Gabbys Green LLC in Queens; CGG Enterprises Inc. in Queens; Suzanne M. Furboter in Queens; Anthony Crapanzano in Queens; Smacked LLC in Manhattan; Gabriel Marin in Manhattan; Planet 51 LLC in Manhattan; Florisun LLC in Manhattan; Eastern Holdings 88 LLC on Staten Island; and SAMJNY Holdings LLC on Staten Island.
The nonprofits Housing Works, The Doe Fund, Urban Upbound, Challenge Industries, the Center for Community Alternatives, LIFE Camps, the Broome County Urban League and STRIVE were also approved for licenses, according to the release.
The businesses approved for licenses are mostly owned by people who have been convicted of a marijuana-related offense themselves or a close relative.
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 OCM 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.