New York’s plan to expand the legal cannabis industry by issuing more licenses

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On Wednesday October 4th, New York state opened its application process for cannabis entrepreneurs to apply for new licenses. The window to apply for new licenses will be open for a 60-day period. The Cannabis Control Board will issue approximately 1500 new licenses in total ranging from cultivation, processing, distribution, micro and retail licenses. The majority of these licenses will be issued to retail dispensaries. The remainder of new licenses will be distributed among the following license categories:

Cultivation (Indoor- Tier 1- up to 5,000 square foot of canopy):
– Approximately 20 licenses
Cultivation (Indoor- Tier 2- up to 12,500 square foot of canopy):
– Approximately 20 licenses
Processing(Type 1: Extraction + Type 2 and 3):
– Approximately 55 licenses
Processing (Type 2: Infusion + Type 3):
– Approximately 100 licenses
Processing (Type 3: Packaging, labeling, white label packaging):
– TBD
Distribution:
– Approximately 30 licenses
Microbusiness:
– Approximately 200 licenses

By issuing more licenses and regulating the cannabis industry, states like New York aim to combat the illicit market. Legalization and regulation can help ensure product safety and quality while also diminishing the influence of criminal organizations involved in illegal cannabis trade. Another primary motivation for legalizing and expanding the cannabis industry in the state is the potential for significant economic benefits. Issuing more licenses can lead to increased tax revenue, job creation, and opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses to thrive in the cannabis market.

In addition, the state is trying to address the racial disparities. New York, like other states, have acknowledged that the War on Drugs has disproportionately impacted communities of color. Expanding cannabis licenses can be viewed as a way to rectify some of these historical injustices by providing opportunities for minority-owned businesses and reinvesting cannabis tax revenue into affected communities.

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