The Empire State is expanding its conditional adult-use retail dispensary (CAURD) program to “benefit everyone involved in this exciting industry,” Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright said.
New York is doubling its number of conditional adult-use retail dispensaries from 150 to 300, according to an announcement from the state’s Cannabis Control Board (CCB) and Office of Cannabis Management (OCM).
Under this expansion of New York’s Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) program, new licenses will be awarded from the existing pool of 900 qualifying business applicants and will be allocated proportionally by geographic location, doubling in each of the state’s 14 designated regions.
“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,” CCB Chair Tremaine Wright said. “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.”
A total of 66 CAURD licenses have been issued to date, according to CCB, from the more than 900 applications received for the originally planned 150 licenses.
In April, OCM will make recommendations to CCB on the majority of remaining applications not currently impacted by a court-ordered injunction, according to a release.
“New York is doing something special when it comes to launching our cannabis industry, and now we’re doubling the impact of our Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary program,” OCM Executive Director Chris Alexander said. “It’s been truly exciting to see the positive energy around our efforts to support entrepreneurs who previously suffered at the hands of New York State. We will continue creating real opportunities for qualified applicants who’ve been shut out from legal cannabis markets across the country.”
The CAURD program’s expansion will also benefit New York’s Seeding Opportunity Initiative, according to the release, which was created to allow individuals most impacted by the war on drugs to operate the state’s first adult-use retail dispensaries.
“Doubling the amount of available Conditional Adult-Use Dispensary Licenses will help kickstart the growth of New York’s cannabis industry,” said Damian Fagon, chief equity officer for OCM. “More stores means more locations for New York farmers to sell their harvests, more convenience for New York customers to make the right decisions and purchase safer and legal products, and twice as many opportunities for New Yorkers harmed by over-policing during cannabis prohibition.”
New York launched its adult-use cannabis program when it opened its first adult-use dispensary, Housing Works Cannabis Co. located in Manhattan, on Dec. 29, 2022.
The Empire State legalized adult-use cannabis on March 31, 2021, following former Gov. Andrew Cuomo signing the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) of 2021 into law.