State reviewing other Highlands applications

Afirm in Newburgh received approval on Dec. 8 to sell recreational marijuana while the state reviews more than 1,850 applications to open cannabis businesses, including at least two from Beacon and one from Cold Spring.

Curaleaf, which is located adjacent to the Alexis Diner on Route 32 in the Town of Newburgh, was one of six medical-marijuana dispensaries approved by the state Cannabis Control Board last week to sell recreational cannabis. The company has 152 medical-marijuana dispensaries in 19 states.

While the six approved firms can begin selling recreational marijuana as of Dec. 29, Curaleaf must first receive a special-use permit from the town Planning Board, which is awaiting a review of the application by Orange County.

A Curaleaf representative told the Planning Board in October that the company planned to sell marijuana grown in Albany County and be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

The state Cannabis Control Board also issued recreational cannabis licenses to medical-marijuana firms based in White Plains, Brooklyn, Farmingdale, Albany and Purchase.

After the vote, Damian Fagan, chief equity officer for the state Office of Cannabis Management, said the agency is reviewing nearly 1,500 applications for retail dispensaries and more than 350 for microbusinesses, which can grow, process, distribute and sell cannabis at retail.

Kamel Jamal, who owns the Beacon Bread Company and Ziatun, said he is one of the applicants applying to open a dispensary in the city, as is Grant McCabe, who owns The Leaf, a store on Main Street that sells cannabidiol and hemp products.

Another applicant, Pleasant View Harvest in Brewster, notified Cold Spring’s Village Board that it has applied for a license to open a microbusiness at 137 Main St.

Fagan said that applicants have been assigned a random number that determines the order in which they will be reviewed over the next few weeks. After a 30-day period in which applicants can correct problems with their applications, the agency will resume issuing licenses, he said.

Since New York legalized recreational cannabis in March 2021, fewer than 40 dispensaries have opened for business, largely because lawsuits seeking to expand eligibility delayed the issuing of licenses. The first retailer in the Mid-Hudson region and Westchester, Elevate in Mount Vernon, opened Monday (Dec. 11).

“We are truly on the verge of establishing the most equitable, diverse and representative legal cannabis market in the country,” Fagan said.

With hundreds of licenses expected soon, the Office of Cannabis Management on Jan. 1 will end its approval of dozens of pop-up “showcases” in which growers sell their products.

One opened in Beacon in September at 463 Main St., a former police station owned by Jamal. Sales in Beacon and other locations selling legal cannabis totaled $5 million through Nov. 26, according to the state, which receives 9 percent tax on each sale. Another 4 percent goes to the municipality where the business is located.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

The Peekskill resident is a former reporter for the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, where he covered Sullivan County and later Newburgh. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Morgan State University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. Location: Cold Spring. Languages: English. Area of Expertise: General.

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    1. Not legal ones. There is a the list at of the 38 dispensaries that have licenses from New York State; as we mentioned, the only one in the Hudson Valley, in Westchester County (Mount Vernon), opened Dec. 11. The Office of Cannabis Management has shut down nine unlicensed stores this year, including one in Brooklyn last week. When that happens, the stock is seized and the store owner gets fined.

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