New York state is now accepting applications for licenses to sell recreational marijuana grown by local farmers in the 2022 growing season.

The license was made possible by a law the governor signed last month.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced last week that New Yorkers with past marijuana related convictions will be the first to get marijuana retail licenses.

The move is being made to allow communities most impacted by past drug laws to become early business owners in the recreational cannabis industry.

"New York is moving full speed ahead to create the most inclusive adult-use cannabis industry in the nation through our Seeding Opportunity Initiative," Governor Hochul said. "This initiative will create meaningful opportunities for economic empowerment for New York farmers and impacted communities. Now that our application portal is open, I encourage every eligible New York farmer to participate in the farm-to-sale pipeline that will create jobs and opportunity throughout the Empire State."

Under the law, conditionally licensed cannabis farmers must meet certain requirements, including safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly cultivation practices; participation in a social equity mentorship program and enter into a labor peace agreement with a bona fide labor organization.

The portal opened today by the New York State Office of Cannabis Management allows hemp farmers seeking an Adult-use Cannabis Conditional Cultivator License to apply on line..

Recreational marijuana sales could begin in New York state by the end of the year.

Recreational marijuana use is legal in 18 states and Washington, D.C.

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