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Legal pot sales still in the works but Syracuse officials already planning for stores

Tarryn Mento
Marijuana buds sit in a glass jar.

The city of Syracuse is planning to distribute at least seven licenses to sell recreational marijuana when the regulations become finalized. The Syracuse common council met Friday to discuss the local market as state officials are still crafting the licensing process.

Councilor Joe Driscoll said licenses in the city will be distributed based on population.

"There’s only one for every 20-to-25,000 people, so there will only be about seven licenses given out within the city limits of Syracuse," Driscoll said.

The state approved marijuana use last year but is working on the regulations to sell it. The Office of Cannabis Management's Pascale Bernard said when licensing applications do open up, permits will be awarded over time to avoid a large concentration of businesses.

"We want to grow this slowly, we want to do it right. And again, this is something that we have seen in other states and we want to avoid that," Bernard said.

The first regulations should be finalized in May. The state earlier this month announced it would prioritize licenses for those who have marijuana-related charges on their records.