After many trials, tribulations, and roadblocks, the legal cannabis market is set to finally expand in the state of New York. WROC is reporting that from now until December 4, just about any adult living in New York can apply for a marijuana license.

The recent move comes after New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced a massive crackdown on thousands of illegal weed shops that had been running in the state. The New York Post says that Hochul told state regulators had "seized more than 8,500 pounds of illicit cannabis products."

Will the State of New York Finally See A Lot More Legal Weed Shops? 

The New York Office of Cannabis Management announced that they are planning to distribute between 1,000 to 1,500 adult-use cannabis licenses. The Office's Chief Equity Officer Damian Fagon says that half of those will be new retail dispensary licenses.


Fagon went on to say that the "main solution to this problem is to get these retail licenses into the hands of entrepreneurs."

See Also: New York State To Allow Cannabis Sales at Concerts and Festivals

As of October 2023, only 24 recreational weed shops are officially open across the state of New York,

What Towns and Areas in the Hudson Valley Opted In?

Of course, there still aren't any legal weed shops (beyond medical) open in the Hudson Valley as of yet. The wait continues as of now, though hopefully, it won't be long.

These 93 Hudson Valley, NY Towns Will Sell Recreational Marijuana

These 104 Hudson Valley Towns Won't Sell Recreational Marijuana

Other Hurdles That Slowed Expansion

Cannabis expansion across New York had also been temporarily put on hold after a lawsuit was filed against the OCM by four veterans, who alleged "that the licensing process for cannabis dispensary licenses is discriminatory and leaves out service veterans.",

The NY Post says that before "only those with a criminal marijuana conviction could get an Empire State cannabis sales permit." However, the Post says that under the aggressive new expansion plans, half of the new licenses will go to veterans, minority owned businesses, as well as distressed farmers.

Many within the cannabis industry had expressed their frustrations over the state's very slow rollout of licensed stores and shops. Hundreds of farmers also have said that they are losing money due to the surplus of crops that they've grown, but with nowhere to sell it.

New York State's 10 Drunkest Counties

According to County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, these are the 10 New York counties with the highest rates of excessive alcohol consumption among adults. The CDC says exessive drinking includes binge drinking which is "...defined as consuming 4 or more drinks on an occasion for a woman or 5 or more drinks on an occasion for a man.." and heavy drinking which " ...for 8 drinks or more per week/For men, heavy drinking is 15 drinks or more per week."

Gallery Credit: Matty Jeff