(Bloomberg) -- New York’s cannabis regulator is looking to grant 1,500 new licenses to help alleviate a surplus of marijuana that producers have built up amid a lack of legal channels for sales. 

Cannabis growers have been sitting on excess marijuana as the state’s tally of legal retailers stands at about two dozen. John Kagia, director of policy for the Office of Cannabis Management, referred to the dynamic as “market asymmetry.” 

The regulator will grant more licenses to get stores open to help sell off what he called a “significant surplus of cannabis biomass,” according to a webcast meeting on Tuesday, referring to producers’ unprocessed cannabis. Officials at the agency said they’re prepared to offer around 1,500 new licenses across the supply chain.

The state’s market is growing quickly as more businesses come online despite bureaucratic delays and a lack of funding options. Retail sales in July and the first three weeks of August totaled $34.1 million, more than the first six months of the year combined, according to the agency. 

New York’s legal cannabis stores are struggling to compete with an illicit market that has moved quickly and undercut legal operators. 

Related: New York to Loosen Marijuana Licensing to Expand Recreational Market

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