There are a lot of bids to sell bud in New York’s cannabis market.

There have been nearly 7,000 applications for adult-use licenses by December, including applications from cultivators, distributors and retail dispensaries.

What You Need To Know

  • The state's cannabis program hauled in $183 million in sales

  • There were nearly 7,000 applications for cannabis businesses filed by December

  • Last month, the state Cannabis Control Board approved 109 licenses, including 38 for retail dispensaries and 26 for microbusinesses that can grow, process, distribute and sell cannabis products under a single license

“In the last several weeks, we have tripled the amount of dispensaries in the state, I know that’s still not a lot, but we are marching toward a goal in which all New Yorkers have access to safer, regulated cannabis product,” said Chris Alexander, the director of the state Office of Cannabis Management.

Alexander addressed a meeting of the Cannabis Advisory Board Tuesday, where officials talked about the ways in which the state’s marijuana industry is maturing — after a slow rollout.

One way to approve licenses faster: making sure businesses fix defects with their applications.

“We have hundreds of deficiencies letters that are out to applicants,” Alexander said. “We want to give you an opportunity. We want to give you that license and give you the green light to get going.”

After the meeting, Tiffany Stoker, director of New York CannaBusiness Chamber of Commerce, thought cannabis officials wanted to get licenses out as quick as possible.

“This is a new frontier and people are looking for that opportunity,” Stoker said.

Meanwhile, cannabis officials offered an update on the market.

The state’s cannabis program hauled in $183 million. That includes $175 million in sales from the state’s 75 approved retail stores and more than $9 million from 60 cannabis grower showcases, a defunct program that allowed for pop-up sales events.

“At the pace we’ve been going, expecting that we’ll be hitting 200 million dollars, as we get into early march," John Kagia, policy director at the Office of Cannabis Management, said.

Kagia discussed how sophisticated and tailored consumer products are becoming, with 581 different strains in the market, with names like Blue Dream, Northern Lights and Skywalker.

“The colorful names notwithstanding, part of what this genetic diversity tells us, is that it’s creating for a lot of varied consumer experiences,” Kagia said.