New York Approves First Slate of Cannabis Cultivation Licenses

New York Approves First Slate of Cannabis Cultivation Licenses
High Times

Regulators in New York on Thursday approved dozens of licenses for cultivating cannabis as part of the Empire State’s forthcoming recreational cannabis program. The New York Cannabis Control Board said that it had signed off on “the first 52 adult-use cannabis cultivation licenses for farms across the state.” “The first cannabis product on dispensary shelves will come from NY’s hard-working family farmers, not out-of-state corporations,” the board announced on Twitter. Political leaders in New York heralded the announcement as a big step toward the state’s intended launch of retail cannabis sales later this year. “New York’s farms have been the backbone of our state’s economy since before the American Revolution, and now, New York’s farms will be at the center of the most equitable cannabis industry in the nation,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement. “I’m proud to announce the first adult-use cannabis cultivation licenses in the state, and I’m proud of the work the Office of Cannabis Management and the Cannabis Control Board are doing to get adult-use cannabis sales up and running as fast as possible without compromising our mission to uplift communities and individuals most impacted by the past century of cannabis prohibition.”  Last month, Hochul announced the Seeding Opportunity Initiative, which requires that the first 100-200 recreational dispensary licenses in New York go to individuals with previous cannabis-related convictions, or who have family members with such convictions on their records. As part of the initiative, New York farmers already growing hemp were given the first crack at growing cannabis for the adult-use market. “Farmers must adhere to quality assurance, health, and safety requirements developed by the [Office of Cannabis Management],” Hochul’s office explained in the announcement of the initiative. “They must also take part in sustainability and equity mentorship programs that will help…

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