The list of hemp farmers approved to cash in on New York’s forthcoming adult-use cannabis market grew by 36 on April 5.

The state’s Cannabis Control Board (CCB) members voted in favor of issuing the conditional adult-use cannabis cultivation licenses for the list of three dozen farmers during a short meeting Thursday, bringing the total number of approved licensees to 88. The board members approved 52 hemp farmers during their regular meeting on April 14.  

Those approvals come as the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) works to process nearly 200 applications in total to submit to the CCB for consideration as the 2022 growing season arrives.

At last month’s meeting, OCM Director Chris Alexander said, “We’re going to continue to process applications on a rolling basis and working to get them to the board for approval as quickly as possible.”

The resolutions to approve the issuance of those first two batches of licenses come on the heels of Gov. Kathy Hochul signing legislation in late February to allow hemp businesses to grow cannabis to help jumpstart the adult-use market and ensure there’s adequate supply when commercial sales possibly launch later this year.

“New York’s farms have been the backbone of our state’s economy since before the American Revolution, and now, New York’s farms will be at the center of the most equitable cannabis industry in the nation,” Hochul said in a public statement announcing the first batch of 52 approved applications last month.

Alexander indicated Thursday that the OCM could be sending another 100 or so license recommendations to the board for final approval later this month, after his office conducts the background and compliance checks needed to vet the applicants.