New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the Cannabis Control Board has approved 52 adult-use Cannabis Conditional Cultivator Licenses across the state. These are the first adult-use cannabis licenses granted in New York.
The approved licenses are from a pool of over 150 requests that were submitted to the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) following the March 15 opening of the application portal.
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Gov. Hochul said the OCM will continue to review applications on a rolling basis and work to get them to the board for approval as quickly as possible.
“New York’s farms have been the backbone of our state’s economy since before the American Revolution, and now, New York’s farms will be at the center of the most equitable cannabis industry in the nation,” Hochul said.
“I’m proud to announce the first adult-use cannabis cultivation licenses in the state, and I’m proud of the work the Office of Cannabis Management and the Cannabis Control Board are doing to get adult-use cannabis sales up and running as fast as possible without compromising our mission to uplift communities and individuals most impacted by the past century of cannabis prohibition,” said Hochul, who is up for election in November.
The approved licenses also advance the Seeding Opportunity Initiative, announced in mid-March. The initiative prioritizes people with past cannabis convictions enabling them to get the first round of adult-use cannabis retail licenses—ahead of existing medical cannabis businesses.
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The policy is part of a concerted effort to assure that early business owners in New York’s projected billion-dollar marijuana industry will be members of communities that have been affected by the nation’s decades-long war on drugs.
This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.