NY marijuana: General retail licenses coming soon. What to know – Democrat & Chronicle

The 10 currently licensed medical marijuana businesses in New York will be allowed to pay a one-time special licensing fee of $20 million to start operating adult-use businesses here.Most of these companies have links to marijuana industries in several states across the country.Paying that fee — which includes a $5 million initial investment — provides those companies with a head start to exclusively operate potentially lucrative seed-to-sale cannabis operations in NY.

New York’s adult-use marijuana industry is poised to significantly expand after state regulators on Tuesday voted to begin issuing more business licenses next month.

Regulators previously issued dispensary licenses exclusively to business owners impacted by prior marijuana-related convictions. That policy stemmed, in part, from the state’s 2021 marijuana law that included requirements to make amends for biased enforcement of past cannabis prohibition.

But the restrictive licensing process has resulted in just 23 dispensaries opening statewide so far. At the same time, black-market drug dealers undermined the legal marketplace and lawsuits challenged the constitutionality of excluding other dispensary applicants.

Now, the state Office of Cannabis Management’s general license application rollout will begin on Oct. 4, allowing all marijuana businesses to apply for cultivator, processor, distributor, microbusiness, and retail dispensary licenses.

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