NY’s Unlicensed Cannabis Shops Get License Priority, Sparking Outrage

“It’s not fair, it’s a slap to our face”

In the three years since New York legalized adult-use cannabis, the explosion in unlicensed cannabis shops has drawn the most ire among legislators, law enforcement and residents.

The subject has galvanized lawmakers of both major parties, Governor Kathy Hochul and stakeholders in the state’s legal cannabis industry, prompting public outcry, new legislation proposals and the governor calling the whole thing a “disaster.”

But as the application process for general licensing moves forward, some stores that have been allegedly operating illegally for a significant period of time have received higher priority for licensure, as well as proximity protection.

This means that applicants who followed the rules but happened to find themselves lower on the licensing queue are now being blocked from applying for retail licenses at locations within 1,000 feet of the illicit shops (or 2,000 feet in less densely populated areas).

“It’s not fair, it’s a slap to our face,” said Freddy Herrera, whose business – Got Your Six Dispensary – is applying for a retail license.

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Marijuana Retail Report, is a national daily online trade publication serving retailers of marijuana products and accessories. News and information are geared strictly to select retail channels, with distribution limited to licensed collectives, recreational retailers, accessories retailers, and wholesalers.


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