SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The first round of retail cannabis licenses was distributed on Monday with 36 approved applications, including four right here in the Capital Region. The approvals came after a federal judge blocked five regions in the state from issuing cannabis licenses after a lawsuit from a Michigan-based company.

That federal ruling remains an issue. Still, applications are approved on a rolling basis through the Office of Cannabis Management, which is expected to announce another 114 businesses in the coming weeks.

Donald Andrews owns Upstate CBD and said working with the OCM was a straightforward process. “We jumped right on it,” he said. “It was extensive. It’s still ongoing, but we were able to get it done and make that happen.”

Andrews said the application is only the first step in the retail cannabis process. Now, he needs to submit more documents and wait for the next steps from the OCM. But his business could start before the end of the year. “We should be able to get a delivery service up before the end of the year so we can start those legal sales,” he said.

A long-time CBD store owner, Andrews said he hopes the implementation of legal cannabis into his business will help create local jobs and further economic growth. “It’s always been a huge dream of mine to own and operate a dispensary,” he said. “Just being involved in the cannabis world, to be able to do things and actually move forward with it, especially with the business front and what I’ve created with it is huge.”