New York state cannabis officials announced on Thursday that they are doubling the number of dispensary licenses under the state’s social equity program for people with past marijuana convictions and their family members — going from 150 licenses to 300.

So far, about 900 entrepreneurs have applied for these Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary licenses, or CAURD licenses, but the state has only awarded 66. Of those, only a handful of shops are up and running. Some of those licenses have also gone to nonprofits.

“With this expansion, more entrepreneurs will be able to participate in the first wave of this industry, allowing them to capitalize on the growing demand for cannabis products,” Tremaine Wright, who chairs the Cannabis Control Board, said in a statement.

But while the state expands the number of social equity licenses, it still hasn’t set a timeline for opening up the broader licensing process. When that happens, both large corporate applicants and individuals who don’t meet CAURD requirements will be ushered into the adult-use market.

The state’s Cannabis Control Board voted to expand the CAURD licenses at a meeting on Thursday. However, only the first 150 candidates will receive guaranteed support from the state – including financial assistance with leasing and designing a retail space. The new batch of 150 licensees will need to wait to see what funding is left over and not claimed by the first group of candidates. This support is provided via the New York State Social Equity Cannabis Fund, a $200 million public-private partnership.

“Any step that would increase access for justice-involved individuals is a great step,” said Joshua Tepperberg, director of the Unified Legacy Operators Council, which represents the interests of New Yorkers who either currently or previously operated in the underground cannabis industry. Some of its members qualify for CAURD licenses, while others, including Tepperberg, are waiting for cannabis business applications to become available to the general public.

At Thursday’s meeting, the Cannabis Control Board also approved regulations for the testing, packaging, labeling, marketing and advertising of adult-use cannabis products.

The board first released a broad slate of proposed regulations for how the broader application and licensing process would work in December. In addition to describing the application requirements and fees for each type of business – such as cultivators, dispensaries, cooperatives and wholesalers – the proposed regulations also touch on a wide range of details around the types of products that can be sold and how they must be processed. The production guidelines go as far as describing the allowed shapes for edibles (nothing that looks like an animal, insect or fruit, or otherwise appeals to those under 21) and they have garnered a lot of public input.

The state received more than 400 comments on the regulations during the initial 60-day public comment period, which ended in late January. Aaron Ghitelman, a spokesperson for the state Office of Cannabis Management, said many of the comments were from organizations and touched on multiple aspects of the regulations.

A decision remains pending on the set of proposed regulations governing general retail licenses for adult-use dispensaries. Tepperberg said his group is among those who submitted comments, including concerns about licensing fees being too high in some categories.

Officials are still sifting through all the comments and revising those regulations, which could then be subject to an additional public comment period before being finalized, Ghitelman said.

That means it could be several months before general business owners who don’t qualify for a CAURD license get a chance to set up shop in the new legal cannabis market. The Cannabis Control Board is also mulling rules around cannabis research. It will soon open the public comment period for those regulations.

Demand for recreational cannabis is high, and New York City officials have moved in recent weeks to crack down on unlicensed shops. Some New York lawmakers who supported legalization are also proposing to ban marijuana edibles that resemble candy, citing their appeal and threat to children.

This story was updated with a new headline.