First legal recreational marijuana dispensary opens in New York

The Lower Manhattan store is the first of 36 dispensaries recently opened, with 139 more licenses yet to be issued to the state.

NEW YORK. New York City’s first legal recreational marijuana pharmacy announced its first sales on Thursday, opening what is expected to be one of the nation’s highest-grossing cannabis markets. open for years.

The widely anticipated opening of the first state-sanctioned pharmacy, operated by the non-profit Housing Works, is paving the way for a string of openings expected in the coming months in New York City. The state legalized the recreational use of marijuana in March 2021.

“We are thrilled to be first and look forward to creating a model for others to follow,” said Charles King, CEO of Housing Works, a minority-controlled social services agency that serves people with HIV and AIDS, as well as the homeless and former prisoners.

The Lower Manhattan store is the first of 36 newly opened pharmacies, with 139 more licenses to be issued by the state’s Office of Cannabis Management and 900 applicants still pending. Among the first licensees were eight non-profit organizations, including Housing Works.

A cannabis storefront adjoins NYU’s sprawling urban campus.

“This is the perfect place. We’re between the West Village and the East Village,” King said at a press conference Thursday morning. “Tourists can easily come here. So we think we’ll have a lot of sales here.”

In front of a group of cameras, Chris Alexander, the first executive director of the state cannabis office, made his first purchase: watermelon-flavored gummies and a can of marijuana flowers.

“We have done a lot of work to get to this point,” Alexander said. “We really have a lot of work to do, a lot more stores need to open.”

Housing officials said the dispensary had already received more than 2,000 purchase orders.

Ben Gilbert, 38, a media specialist, smoked a marijuana cigarette right outside the new outlet and said he was looking forward to the store’s official opening at 4:20 pm on Thursday.

“As a consumer, I’m excited to finally go to the store and buy New York-grown cannabis,” he said.

New York City Council member Carlina Rivera also bought gum and said she no longer needed to travel out of state for legal cannabis. She predicted that more openings would be a boon to the state and city’s economy.

“We are the financial center of the world, the greatest city on earth, and I think that people will now come here to enjoy all kinds of things,” she said.

New York has joined nearly two dozen other US states in legalizing recreational marijuana. But unlike many other states, New York has reserved its first round of retail licenses for non-profit organizations, as well as applicants with marijuana convictions and their relatives — an acknowledgment of the injustice caused by the country’s war on drugs.

He also planned to set up a $200 million public-private fund to help claimants, which they called “social justice”.

“We have seen first hand the devastating impact of the war on drugs on people who use drugs, especially on the most marginalized people, people on low incomes,” King said.

King said his non-profit organization hires people who have been prosecuted for marijuana. Housing Works sought the license because it wanted to “be able to mitigate some of the harsh circumstances surrounding both the criminalization of cannabis and other drugs,” he said.

“Today marks a significant milestone in our efforts to create the most fair cannabis industry in the country,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement. “Opening our state’s first legal dispensary right here in New York is more than just a promising step for this promising industry — it’s a new chapter for those most affected by the failed policies of the past.”

Governor Kathy Hochul called the first legal sale of cannabis to adults “a historic milestone for the New York cannabis industry.”

Content Source

News Press Ohio – Latest News:
Columbus Local News || Cleveland Local News || Ohio State News || National News || Money and Economy News || Entertainment News || Tech News || Environment News

Related Articles

Back to top button