(Bloomberg) -- New York State will license five new marijuana dispensaries to open, part of an effort to keep up with growing demand and out-compete illicit sellers, according to the state’s cannabis regulator. 

The new stores include locations in New York City’s Astoria, Harlem and the Lower East Side districts that are expected to open this week, a spokesman for the regulator said Tuesday at a public meeting, and will bring the state’s total to 27, the regulator said. Sales from the stores have hit $83 million year-to-date, even with many closed for renovation, according to the agency. 

“This will be an important accelerant of supply-chain capacity and creating some relief for growers,” John Kagia, director of policy for the Office of Cannabis Management, said at the meeting.

The state has struggled with an oversupply of cannabis as it’s been slow to open retail locations. Officials have sought to place dispensaries strategically through a program that would grant them first to people with former convictions for marijuana possession. 

The agency said it will step up enforcement of $20,000-per-day fines on unlicensed stores, while extending its deadline for license applications for two weeks to Dec. 18.

Sales of cannabis from licensed dispensaries in the state were $51 million in the last three months, more than double the immediately preceding period, according to the agency. 

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