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New York issued its first 36 recreational marijuana dispensary licenses. File Photo by 7raysmarketing/pixabay

https://pixabay.com/en/seedling-cannabis-marijuana-1062908/

Nov. 21 (UPI) — The State of New York announced the first slate of marijuana licenses for dispensaries to sell medical marijuana.

The Cannabis Control Board approved 28 licenses for businesses and eight for nonprofit organizations. The board reviewed more than 900 applications for Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary licenses, which is part of the state’s Seeding Opportunity Initiative.

More licenses are incoming with about 175 total being granted.

“Today is a monumental day for New York’s nascent cannabis industry. With the first adult-use retail dispensary licenses in the hands of businesses and eligible nonprofits, we’ve ensured the first sales will be made at dispensaries operated by those impacted by the unjust enforcement of cannabis prohibition,” said Tremaine Wright, Chair of the Cannabis Control Board.

According to the document announcing the awarded licenses, Black New Yorkers were “15 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis than white New Yorkers,” over the last 30 years. Latinos were also disproportionately arrested. A majority of the licenses were awarded to people of color.

Sales of recreational marijuana are expected to begin by the end of the year.

The board also advanced regulations for packaging, labeling and marketing cannabis products, as well as guidelines for oversight. More than 700 public comments were received in regards to these regulations, leading to some alterations to create more flexibility for licensees.

The number of cannabis growers is also increasing ahead of the state’s charge to take advantage of the cannabis market. Sixteen Adult-use Cannabis Conditional Cultivator licenses were approved, pushing the total number of license holders to 277.

“These entrepreneurs will be selling sun-grown cannabis cultivated with a minimal carbon footprint, and we must continue to ensure that New York’s industry remains on an equitable and climate conscious path well into the future,” said board member Jen Metzger.

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New York approves first legal recreational marijuana dispensaries – Vigour Times

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