ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — 4/20 is celebrated as the unofficial pot holiday. Just a few years ago the drug was illegal in New York State, but by the end of this year it could be sold on dispensary shelves. 

From the decriminalization of marijuana to distributing cultivator licenses – New York has come a long way when it comes to legalization of cannabis. But we’re still a hair behind New Jersey – where tomorrow dispensaries are eliminating the need for medical marijuana cards to purchase weed legally. 

Last week, 52 cannabis cultivation licenses were distributed to New York farmers, helping them take full advantage of the growing season. If all goes according to the Cannabis board’s plan, dispensaries could be selling by the end of 2022.  

The Office of Cannabis Management says that previously, the industry was largely run by corporations. Some lawmakers say putting this in the hands of farmers will allow the state to have better oversight. 

“So we want there to be the sale of legal marijuana in New York State that is grown in a way that we can track it from seed to sale,” said Senator Jeremy Cooney.  

The Cannabis board did receive over 150 applications, many of those qualify as social equity candidates. They are still in the process of being reviewed.