Eight non-profits and numerous applicants with past cannabis convictions among first batch to receive licenses
New York issued its first 36 cannabis dispensary licenses on Monday, taking a monumental step in establishing a legal and lucrative marketplace for recreational marijuana.
The licenses approved by the state’s cannabis control board were the first of 175 the state plans to issue, with many in the first round reserved for applicants with past convictions for marijuana offenses.
Eight non-profit groups were among the 36 licensees granted on Monday.
Some of the dispensaries, selected from a pool of more than 900 applicants, are expected to open by the end of the year.
New York has also planned a $200m public-private fund to aid “social equity” applicants to help redress the ravages of the war on drugs, especially in communities of color.
“Today is a monumental day for New York’s nascent cannabis industry,” said Tremaine Wright, who chairs the cannabis control board. “With the first adult-use retail dispensary licenses in the hands of businesses and eligible non-profits, we’ve ensured the first sales will be made at dispensaries operated by