ALBANY, N.Y. — The state's Office of Cannabis Management Control Board met again on Thursday and granted 36 more cultivator licenses allowing companies to grow cannabis in New York State.
The list includes some local companies, including three in Erie County and one in Orleans County. Hop-n-Hemp Tea Inc., P-C Development Corporation, and Donald Spoth farm in Erie County got licenses on Thursday and Hydro Grow NY Inc in Orleans also got one.
The 36 companies granted licenses Thursday are on top of the 52 already approved. The goal is to have the first dispensaries selling these crops open for business later this year.
"We're excited to get the growing season underway and to enable our farmers, our small farmers as demonstrated in the video, to continue to provide a foundation for the market," according to Chris Alexander, the Office of Cannabis Management Control Board executive director.
The state is still going through more applications from farmers. The deadline to apply is June 30.
"So we've seen about 200 applications total and the 52 out. There are stringent background compliance checks going on, currently making sure individuals have submitted all required documentation, so I think we have another 100 or so that can be coming along the pipeline quickly," Alexander said.
There is also a big public service campaign going on reminding people about the state's cannabis laws, especially where and when people over 21 can use it. It's called "Cannabis Conversations."
There are videos, social media posts, and billboards. They focus on making sure New Yorkers don't drive under the influence, understand they need to keep second-hand smoke away from other people, and keep their cannabis locked up and away from children and pets.