A Plattsburgh company has been awarded a provisional license to sell recreational marijuana under an initiative aimed at people with prior marijuana-related convictions.

Doug Butdorf, chairman of North Country Roots, said the the goal is to open the dispensary on April 20, but he first has to find a location that meets the state’s requirements.

Butdorf said the company is seeking a space with 2,000-4,000 square feet and plenty of parking.

“There’s a lot of work around location finding, analyzing to ensure everything related to the location is copacetic relative to rules,” he said. “On our side the onus is on setting up an operating plan that meets the requirements.”

New York’s Seeding Opportunity Initiative gives entrepreneurs with prior cannabis-related criminal offenses priority to sell recreational cannabis grown by New York farmers. It also allows for early investment into communities most impacted by the disproportionate enforcement of cannabis prohibition.   

“I think it’s an essential thing,” Butdorf said. “The state of New York is really being responsible to many previously incarcerated individuals, and I’m happy that we are able to participate in that way through our ownership group.”

Butdorf said he hopes to get product into people’s hands before he officially opens a physical location. “The state is allowing temporary operation for delivery,” he said. “We do hope that we’ll be able to do delivery relatively soon based on the state provisioning us with temporary permission to do so, out of a location that we’re working on.”

The New York Cannabis Control Board has awarded 66 licenses so far, with the first dispensary owned by someone with a previous cannabis conviction opening last week in Manhattan.