MOHAWK VALLEY, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Adult use of marijuana has been increasing across the nation as more and more states begin to legalize both medical and recreational use. New York State has announced that they will approve a maximum of 150 Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries (CAURD) with the highest numbers going to Manhattan and Long Island.

CAURD licenses can only be issued to those with a previous cannabis offense in the state of New York, or who have a family member who was, before March 31, 2021. These license holders will then have access to storefronts currently being secured by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY). The Office of Cannabis Management will also grant 25 licenses to qualifying non-profits, but those businesses will not be eligible for DASNY funding.

Tyme Ferris, Chair of CANY, the Cannabis Association of New York, for the Mohawk Valley region, explains how he and his organization are working to educate potential, new entrepreneurs in the industry, “We’re kind of playing catch up for organizations like ours, going through and trying to build community support, help other entrepreneurs know what things they should expect from a regulated market, and going into that, and how they can be better community partners,” said Ferris. “New York State is slated to be a $7 billion industry, and it’s one of the most community-based industries that exist out there, and organizations like ours help to support those.”

And Vice-Chair of CANY of the Mohawk Valley, Josh Clemmons, agrees – that there is still a lot of confusion surrounding this process, but organizations like CANY are here to help. “The cannabis industry is not easy to break into,” said Clemmons, “With pre-licenses at this point, there’s a lot of folks that aren’t even sure when they’re going to be able to apply for a license.”

He continued, “So, these hypothetical situations get folks who don’t know a local ‘boots-on-the-ground’ person to ask questions to, and maybe get some legitimate answers from.”

To learn more about CANY, you can visit their website at www.cany.org, and learn more about CAURD licensing, more information can be found at cannabis.ny.gov.