Recreational marijuana legalized, but dispensaries likely won’t open for a year in New York

Now that recreational marijuana is legal the big question is “How soon will we see dispensaries start to open?”

It’s a good question- and one that Attorney Tristan Hujar, who specializes in cannabis law, has been thinking a lot about. There are a number of business owners in the region who have also been thinking about it.

He tells 13WHAM-TV that it will likely be months, if not a year, before any dispensary licenses are issued by New York State. Amy Paul, who manages the HempSol CBD store in Henrietta expects the same, even as her own store looks at it as an option.

“I think to get a license is six to 12 months down the road, so this may take a year or two. Learning the law and what we need to do to open up a store may take some time,” Paul told 13WHAM. “There’s definitely interest, and it’s in our realm.”

Hujar says that the first licenses to get approved will also likely be those associated with established businesses that are in the industry- like CBD stores.

But there’s a pretty significant catch in the mix: Cities, towns, and villages can opt-out if they so choose. They can opt to not allow any dispensary from opening up in their community. They would not be eligible to receive any of the monetary benefits created from the 14% tax on marijuana, though.

Want the latest headlines in your inbox each morning? Click here to sign up for our Morning Edition and Sunday Insight newsletters. They are dedicated to keeping you in the know. You can also download the App for Android (All Android Devices) or iOS (iPhone, iPad)
Support Local Journalism