ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Cannabis Control Board and the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) announced it will double the number of conditional adult-use retail dispensary (CAURD) licenses from the originally planned 150 to 300. The expansion will look to further New York State’s Seeding Opportunity Initiative, which provides for the state’s first legal adult-use retail dispensaries to be operated by those formerly incarcerated or impacted by the prohibition of cannabis.

The New York State Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act of 2021 (MRTA) looks to build an equitable market to overcome the impacts of unequal enforcement of cannabis prohibition and prioritize licenses for those with cannabis convictions or their close family members. The OCM says they’ve received about 900 applications for CAURD licenses.

Chart via OCM

“With this expansion, more entrepreneurs will be able to participate in the first wave of this industry, allowing them to capitalize on the growing demand for cannabis products,” said Tremaine Wright, Chair of the Cannabis Control Board.“As more businesses enter this market, the innovation and competition will increase, leading to better quality experiences for consumers. The expansion of New York’s cannabis market will benefit everyone involved in this exciting industry.”