ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Black-owned in a budding industry, a Conditional Adult Use Cannabis Dispensary (CUARD) had its future business site approved by local regulators. Officials and the business owner hope that the proposed dispensary’s presence can remove a vacant storefront from downtown Albany.

Businessman Amin Cowan said that he was granted a CUARD license in March. Pronounced like “card,” CUARD is just one of the many steps a business must take to sell cannabis in New York.

Cowan now wants to look at other kinds of adult-use licenses for his future dispensary, Mr. Good Vybz. “It’s been an uphill battle going on since March. It’s going to be three years that I’ve been trying to get into the cannabis industry, but there’s so many ups and downs,” he said.

He said that it’s surreal to see the plant that got people put into prison become a legal and economic opportunity. “It’s something that we’ve been doing since the beginning of time, we’ve just been getting reprimanded for it,” said Cowan. “It’s a new way to bring prosperity to the community.”

A big part of the hoopla around this business’s possible opening is the potential for one less vacant storefront Downtown. Andrew Joyce, Chair of the Albany County Legislature, highlighted the importance of small business. “Regeneron—all these big businesses are coming to Albany County, and we have to leave room and leave space and the opportunity and encouragement for a lot of these young entrepreneurs,” he said.

Amin’s wife Coreisha hopes to take the next steps to open their business. “This is just the beginning. This isn’t the end,” she said. “Wherever we can go from here, we will.”

Should all go well and according to schedule, businesses approved for adult licenses are expected to be announced in December.