New York hasn't licensed any pot shops, but they abound

New York hasn’t licensed any pot shops, but they abound

NEW YORK (AP) — Impatient, anxious and frustrated, Yuri Krupitsky waits to see if he can open one of the first legal recreational marijuana stores in New York state.

He has been vying for a long bid to become one of around 900 candidates in a first round of 150 licenses, to face further uncertainty following a court ruling last week. It temporarily blocks the state from greenlighting dispensaries in Brooklyn’s Krupitsky Territory and some other areas.

Meanwhile, unlicensed pot shops have sprung up in droves.

Stores openly selling marijuana are now found throughout New York City, operated by people who ignored licensing requirements.

“It’s unfair competition,” Kuritsky said. “Everyone just says, ‘Sit and wait,’ and in the meantime, I see store after store, and they make their money. I’m sitting around waiting to do it the right way.”

Under pressure to launch one of the nation’s most anticipated legal marijuana markets, the state’s Cannabis Control Board is expected to consider awarding dispensary licenses to entrepreneurs and nonprofit groups on Monday — a major milestone that comes as cannabis regulators point out they are trying to shut down unlicensed sellers.

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