ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — It will be several months before dispensaries enter the region. The New York State Office of Cannabis Management will be busy during the next few months, outlining regulations and rules for municipalities and individual dispensaries to follow.

“They have to put together the rules and regulations governing the entire industry and marketplace. We’re talking about hundreds of pages of regulations. We’re probably not even going to see the first draft of those regulations for a couple of months,” Kaelan Castetter, vice president of New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Association, said.

After the regulations are drafted, the public will have a period to comment and provide feedback. According to Castetter, the state will have to address every comment and then re-publish the changed regulations. Also, municipalities will have to draft their own regulations, including zoning rules, so that dispensaries can open within their towns.

Optimistically, Castetter says dispensaries could open by the end of the year or early 2023, but he says entrepreneurs who want to start their own dispensary should be prepared for a lengthy process.

“I think it’s going to be a staggered rollout. Before we see a mature marketplace, it is going to be several years,” Castetter added. “I do think we will start to see maybe several hundred dispensaries opening their doors by this time in 2023.”