BUFFALO, N.Y. — New York State will soon be home to more marijuana stores.
The state's Cannabis Control Board decided Thursday morning to double the number of dispensary licenses.
The state ended up getting about nine-hundred applications to open marijuana stores, but it only had the authority to issue 150 licenses.
Thursday morning, the Cannabis Control Board and the Office of Cannabis Management doubled that number to 300.
"As we've continued to review applications, we've found there are still many qualified individuals who can make the most of this opportunity outside of that initial 150. So in recognition of this strong pool of applicants, the ability of some of these individuals to bring their own locations, and for us to stretch the resources further that the state has provided, and our desire to expand the market as quickly as possible, we're excited to announce that we are expanding the CAURD program to 300 licensees," Office of Cannabis Management executive director Chris Alexander said.
People eligible for dispensary licenses so far were either personally impacted by marijuana convictions in the past themselves or had a close family member who was. Nonprofits are also eligible to apply.
"At the next board meeting in April, we're striving to send the majority of the remaining applications in eligible regions from the full pool of three-hundred for the board to consider for licensure," Alexander said.
The Western New York region's license allotment will go from 11 to 22. But because of a pending lawsuit, licenses right now aren't being awarded here.
Thursday morning, the control board also approved the packaging, labeling, marketing, and advertising regulations for marijuana. The board got more than four-hundred public comments before approving them.
One of the requirements is marijuana is sold in sustainable packaging.