The First Legal Marijuana Dispensary Will Open in Manhattan!

The First Legal Marijuana Dispensary Will Open in Manhattan!

On Wednesday, Governor Hochul and other state authorities revealed that the first legal sale of recreational marijuana in New York would take place the next week at a Manhattan dispensary operated by a charity known for its bookshop and thrift stores. On December 29th, members of the public who wish to smoke Marijuana will be able to visit the Astor Place storefront run by Housing Works, a minority-controlled HIV/AIDS support group.

Hochul said in a statement, “We set a course just nine months ago to start New York’s adult-use cannabis market off on the right foot by emphasizing equity, and now, we’re meeting that aim.” From here, the sector can only expand, bringing prosperity to all corners of New York State through funding increased educational opportunities and community revitalization with tax income.

The First Legal Marijuana Dispensary Will Open in Manhattan!

Housing Works Cannabis Co. will open in the former GAP store in Noho, selling cannabis products for adults that are grown and processed by minority-owned farms and businesses in New York State. The dispensary will sell flowers for smoking, as well as pre-rolled joints, tinctures, concentrates, and edibles, with an eye toward supporting brands run by women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community.

The store will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., every day of the week, and will be increasing its hours in the following months. One of the first retail licenses provided by the state’s Seeding Opportunity Initiative went to Housing Works, which runs services for the homeless and individuals with HIV/AIDS in addition to its dozen thrift stores and famous SoHo bookstore.

The First Legal Marijuana Dispensary Will Open in Manhattan!

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Sasha Nugent, the store manager, remarked. But the work of our non-profit is just as important now as it was before. We want to be a role model for the cannabis sector in America when it comes to social justice by recruiting people from underrepresented backgrounds and always standing by those communities that have suffered the most from the unfair War on Drugs.

All profits from the dispensary will go back into the main organization, which helps people by providing them with shelter, healthcare, and legal representation. Housing Works manages over a dozen homeless shelters and supportive housing locations across the five boroughs, in addition to roughly 300 “scatter site” residences.

After the 2021 Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act legalized the cultivation, distribution, and use of marijuana for New Yorkers over the age of 21, the group was one of eight charities to acquire a Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary license in November, allowing for recreational pot sales.

The First Legal Marijuana Dispensary Will Open in Manhattan!

In an effort to prevent major, multi-state operators from flooding the market, as they have in other states where weed is legal, the law prioritized nonprofits and those most disadvantaged by the enforcement of earlier pot laws when awarding retail and other cannabis-related permits.

“Not only have we removed the prohibition in New York, but we’re teaching the nation, and the world, how to develop a market that is really equitable and inclusive,” said Chris Alexander, executive director for the Office of Cannabis Management.

Spending in this expanding sector will have a multiplier effect, benefiting local shops, institutions, and populations. The Doe Fund, another New York City nonprofit for the homeless, was granted a retail license last month and is making plans to open a dispensary in a retail space in lower Manhattan.

The First Legal Marijuana Dispensary Will Open in Manhattan!

Just weeks after Mayor Adams pledged a significant crackdown on illicit cannabis stores that have grown around the city in recent years, legal weed sales are beginning. In addition to issuing 500 civil summonses and 66 criminal summonses to dealers selling unregulated pots, the New York City Sheriff’s Office and other agencies also seized 600 pounds of the drug as part of the enforcement operation.

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