New York issues first licenses for legal pot dispensaries

NEW YORK (AP) — New York has issued the state’s first 36 cannabis dispensary licenses, taking a monumental step in establishing a legal and lucrative marketplace for recreational marijuana. The licenses approved Monday by the state’s Cannabis Control Board were the first of 175 the state plans to issue, despite a court ruling earlier this month that prevents it from issuing licenses in some parts of the state. The first legal dispensaries, selected from a pool of more than 900 applicants, are expected to be ready by the end of the year, joining an already robust marijuana economy fueled by illicit dispensaries, some of which have been shut down by authorities.