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New York expands cannabis market with 109 new licenses

In a significant move to boost the state’s burgeoning cannabis industry, New York’s Cannabis Control Board approved 109 new marijuana business licenses on Friday. This latest approval includes 38 retail dispensaries, with a focus on advancing social and economic equity applicants, including minority- and women-owned businesses. The decision follows delays and legal challenges, including a lawsuit alleging discrimination in the licensing process. With nearly 7,000 applications received by December, the state aims to continue rolling out additional licenses in the future.

Furthermore, the board has greenlit proposed regulations for home cannabis cultivation. New Yorkers could soon grow up to 12 plants per household and possess up to five pounds of marijuana, pending a 60-day public comment period and final approval. This development represents a major step in expanding personal cannabis use and cultivation rights within the state.

As New York’s legal cannabis landscape grows, officials anticipate the opening of at least 25 new dispensaries in the coming weeks, adding to the current tally of 70 adult-use cannabis retailers. The distribution of licenses — 45% within New York City and 55% across the state — underscores a commitment to broad access and participation in the legal cannabis market. Social and economic equity remains a priority, with two-thirds of the new licenses awarded to businesses owned by women, minorities, and minority-women, highlighting New York’s efforts to foster inclusivity in this emerging industry.