A major change is coming for the cannabis industry in New York.

Since recreational marijuana was legalized in March of 2021, it's been a slow-but-methodical journey for the state as it worked to establish reasonable regulations, and expand the industry in an organized way.

New York's cannabis industry is set for another major expansion, one that will double the amount of opportunities available for local business owners in 2023.

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New York Approves More Cannabis Dispensary Licenses, Doubling Total

A story from ABC News 10 in Albany detailed a decision made by the State of New York, in which they approved 150 additional cannabis dispensary licenses, doubling the amount of approved licenses in the state to 300.

The licenses are given to entrepreneurs who are looking to operate conditional adult-use retail dispensaries, or CAURDs, in the state. New York officials have reportedly received more than 900 applications for licenses from those looking to open this type of business already, and are now further along in the process of approving them than ever before.

Unsplash / CRYSTALWEED cannabis
Unsplash / CRYSTALWEED cannabis

The Office of Cannabis Management had already approved 150 dispensary licenses before the additional ones that were passed through on Thursday. As outlined by News 10, the original 150 licenses were given to businesses in various locations across the state.

To name a few examples, 19 licenses were provided for dispensaries in Brooklyn, another 17 were given in the Mid-Hudson area, and an additional 11 were provided for Western New York.

Dry and trimmed cannabis buds, stored in a glass jars
Getty Images/iStockphoto

To make this most recent expansion fair and balanced, each individual region of the state saw their past number of dispensary licenses double by the exact number they had before.

So, Brooklyn now has 38 licenses, Mid-Hudson has 34 of their own, and Western New York now has 22 dispensary licenses to go around.

This is a massive expansion for the cannabis industry in the Empire State. Based on the huge number of applications that have been submitted for dispensary licenses already, odds are, the numbers of growers will be growing again sooner, rather than later.

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Capital Region Cities, Towns, & Villages Opted-Out Of Marijuana Sales

As New York prepares to roll out marijuana dispensaries, the following 22 Capital Region municipalities have opted out of marijuana sales and businesses for the time being according to the Rockefeller Institute of Government. Cities and towns can decide to opt-in down the road if they choose.