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State board approves 114 new licenses for New York’s embattled cannabis industry

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Shutterstock (14369109j) Governor Kathy Hochul speaks during announcement at New York office to enforce closing cannabis illegal stores. Governor called on the state legislature to pass a law to enable local authorities to padlock illegal stores selling cannabis and called on tech giants like Google, Meta, Yelp to stop promoting illegal stores locations showing at one point Google maps on a cell phone with dozens of illegal stores in the Midtown neighborhood of Governor's office. Governor Hochul Makes a Cannabis Enforcement Announcement, New York, United States - 28 Feb 2024 Governor Hochul Makes a Cannabis Enforcement Announcement, New York, United States - 28 Feb 2024

The state Cannabis Control Board on Friday approved 114 new licenses — more than doubling the number of stores that will legally be able to peddle marijuana products statewide to 223.

State officials did not immediately provide locations of the new shops when asked Saturday.

The city estimates up to 2,000 stores are illegally selling cannabis in the Big Apple.

There are currently 87 licensed operators to sell cannabis in the state, 38 of which are in New York City.

Last week, Hochul finally called for an overhaul of the state Office of Cannabis Management, which runs New York’s cannabis industry, after admitting its roll-out was a “disaster.’’

The move came as a key New York weed regulator was placed on leave after being accused of retaliation by a pot supplier for her criticism of the program.

Hochul tapped her Office of General Services Commissioner Jeanette Moy to conduct the 30-day examination of the program to try to streamline its licensing operation and the opening of new pot stores — a directive seen in and outside the weed industry as a belated attempt to stem a full-blown crisis occurring on the governor’s watch.

Of the new licenses, 45 are for retail dispensary and another 31 are going to applicants seeking to operate a “microbusiness license” that allows a licensee to grow, process, distribute and sell all under one license.

The board also waived license fees for marijuana farmers, which range from $4,500 to $40,000.

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