Officials in New York have announced the distribution of 99 new provisional licenses for recreational marijuana stores.
Despite New York legalizing recreational marijuana in 2021, there is currently just seven licensed marijuana stores open. This was largely due to a court ruling that halted license distribution in many regions.
However, just days after the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of lifting the injunction the Cannabis Control Board announced that they’ve provisionally approved 99 licenses for marijuana stores located in areas where the ban had been in effect. Applicants are still required to complete a supplemental application.
The 99 new licenses brings the total number of marijuana retail licenses to 165, though as mentioned above only a handful of the 66 given out before today have actually opened their doors.
“We’re absolutely thrilled that we’re able to expand the rollout of legalized cannabis across almost every region of the state,” said Tremaine Wright, Chair of the Cannabis Control Board.
The injunction on licenses over the past several months was due to a lawsuit by the company Variscite NY One, who said the state’s process for selecting and approving applicants favored New York residents. They claimed this to be a violation of constitutional interstate commerce protections.
Last week’s ruling lifting the injunction allows the state to issue marijuana retail licenses in Brooklyn, central New York, the mid-Hudson region and western New York. An injunction in the Finger Lakes region will remain based on a separate lawsuit.