ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– From now until December 4, those wanting to enter New York’s cannabis industry can apply to do so.

“We’re expecting tens of thousands of applications from all over the country to try and start their businesses here in the great State of New York,” said Damian Fagon, The Office of Cannabis Management’s Chief Equity Officer.

The Office of Cannabis Management is looking to distribute between 1,000 to 1,500 adult- use cannabis licenses.

“Of those 1,000 new licenses, half of those are new retail dispensary licenses. Obviously we need a lot more stores around the state. We have some indoor grow licenses for folks who got a green thumb, processor, distributor, and microbusiness.”

There is a fee to apply. For social equity applicants it’s $500. For everyone else, it’s $1,000.

People who have locations secured for a dispensary or microbusiness are being urged to apply by November 3 to fast track the process.

As New York’s legal marijuana industry grows, the state is cracking down on illegal sales. Governor Kathy Hochul stated, “ My administration is laser-focused on shutting down illegal storefronts, protecting the health and safety of children, and helping small businesses thrive.”

“The main solution to this problem is to get these retail licenses into the hands of entrepreneurs,” said Fagon. “So they can open up a licensed legal stores that pay taxes that contribute to our communities and represent our values.”