New York Loosens Rules on Locations for Weed Dispensaries – The New York Times

Licensees will no longer be required to accept storefronts leased by the state, a move welcomed by applicants who want more control over their retail locations.

New York cannabis regulators have scrapped a rule requiring the state’s first retail operators to accept storefronts assigned by the government in an effort to get sales going before the end of the year.

The change three weeks before the new year frees up license holders to base their operations out of locations of their choosing, pending the state’s approval. The move was announced by the state’s Office of Cannabis Management in a statement Friday.

Some entrepreneurs seeking to enter the recently legalized recreational cannabis market in New York welcomed the flexibility the shift in rules would allow. Other industry observers, however, say that the eased storefront requirement is another sign that state regulators and private investors are falling short of their vows of support for these new businesses.

The state had promised turnkey storefronts and millions of dollars in start-up loans to license holders in order to get retail sales of cannabis up and running by the end of the year. But those promises have yet to be fulfilled.

The shift in regulation unveiled Friday further signals

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