New York awards adult-use marijuana licenses to Finger Lakes retailers

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New York regulators granted the first adult-use marijuana retail licenses in the state’s Finger Lakes region.

The state Cannabis Control Board on Thursday announced 36 new licenses statewide, including seven in the Finger Lakes area.

It’s unclear when any of the new licensees will be able to open for business.

To date, the state has issued 251 adult-use retail licenses, the Office of Cannabis Management said in a news release Thursday.

However, only 14 recreational stores have opened for business, most of them in New York City.

Though the legal marijuana industry statewide has been hampered by a slow rollout, the Finger Lakes region – a mostly rural area between Rochester and Syracuse – was entirely off-limits until May 30.

That’s when the state Office of Cannabis Management settled a major lawsuit that prevented permits being issued in the Finger Lakes area.

An out-of-state company had sued regulators in New York and California, alleging those states’ choices to give preferential licensing to state residents was unconstitutional.

As part of the New York settlement, the plaintiff, Variscite NY One – owned by Michigan resident Kenneth Gay – will also be awarded a license.

New York’s 14 licensed retailers include Flynnstoned in Syracuse, which staged its grand opening Friday, according to Syracuse.com’s NY Cannabis Insider.

At three stories and 13,000 square feet of floor space, it’s believed to be the largest in New York.