NY to Start Recreational Marijuana Sales by the End of 2022

NY to Start Recreational Marijuana Sales by the End of 2022

While adults over 21 can possess and use marijuana due to Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which came into force in 2021, cannabis sales are still illegal in New York.

However, that’s about to change. Namely, by the end of 2022, New Yorkers will be able to buy cannabis for recreational use.

The first shops to open will be those affiliated with the CAURD program.  

More precisely, the state Cannabis Control Board will be giving around 150 CAURD licenses in addition to $200 million in state-provided capital to help companies get up and running. Each business can expect to receive $1.5 million from the state to open a dispensary.

In this way, officials in New York are trying to prevent what occurred in other states where individuals who entered the marijuana market already possessed the tools they needed to start a business. This excluded low-income communities of color.

That said, to qualify for the program, applicants must:

  • Show proof of being “justice-involved.” This implies they were found guilty of a cannabis-related offense in New York before March 31, 2021.
  • Come from neighborhoods with a low median household income at the time of the arrest or conviction.
  • Show that they have previously controlled or owned 10% of a successful company.

The dispensaries must also be 51% owned and controlled by individuals convicted of a marijuana-related crime.   

The state’s new dispensary application window will open by the end of August. Interested parties must submit a $2,000 nonrefundable application and licensing fee. They must also indicate their preferred area for establishing a marijuana dispensary.