Which New York Boroughs Will Get the First Dispensaries? Depends on Who Gets the Licenses

New York regulators are a few short months away from launching legal marijuana sales. Over the past year, responsible parties have been preparing laws and setting the stage just for this moment.

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On Thursday, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) released a regional breakdown of possible dispensaries, showing just how many licenses would be awarded per region.

The OCM will award up to 150 licenses across 14 regions in the state. Big boroughs like Manhattan and Brooklyn have more licenses and thus are likely to have more dispensaries.

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Where are they going?

The region with the most room for licenses is Manhattan, with 22 of them. Closely following are Long Island and Brooklyn, with 20 and 19 licenses respectively. Other highly populated areas like Queens and The Bronx follow closely behind, with 16 and 10 licenses each.

The OCM is currently gearing up to provide CAURD licenses to applicants, which are the ones provided to people who’ve been “justice-involved.” CAURD stands for Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries and will be the first licenses to be provided to the public, benefitting those who’ve struggled the most due to the penalization of cannabis.

“CAURD licensees are positioned to make New York’s first legal cannabis sales before the end of 2022, speeding the delivery of investments into communities across New York State that were impacted by the disproportionate enforcement of cannabis prohibition,” reads the official website.

The application process is supposed to be simple and cheap, requiring no outside help from lawyers or other parties.

“The primary goal of the CAURD license is to create opportunities for New Yorkers harmed most by the prohibition of cannabis,” OCM spokesperson Aaron Ghitelman told Marijuana Moment. “Part of that is granting up to 150 CAURD licenses to individuals who themselves, or their close family members, have had past eligible cannabis-related offenses and have ownership stakes in profitable businesses.

New York will start accepting dispensary applications on August 25, with the goal of having these businesses up and running by the end of the year.

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