Governor Kathy Hochul announced on December 21, that NYC will receive its first legal recreational weed dispensary as of Thursday, December 29.
The state of New York officially legalized recreational marijuana in March of 2021, but this new shop, which will be operated by Housing Works in the East Village, will stand as the city’s only current shop selling regulated, safe, and tested marijuana products.
According to Hochul, the shop will be a milestone for the Seeding Opportunity Initiative, which has provided licensing to 280 family farmers to grow the first adult-use cannabis in NY state.
The initiative was designed to create a cannabis industry that offsets the harms resulting from the disproportionate impact of cannabis prohibition.
The 4,400-square-foot storefront is located at 750 Broadway in the Astor Place neighborhood, and will eventually expand as cannabis products become more available. All proceeds from sales will benefit Housing Works, Inc., which was founded in 1990 to address the dual crises of HIV/AIDS and homelessness.
“This is a once in a lifetime moment. That said, our nonprofit’s mission remains as urgent as ever. We are eager to take the lead as a social equity model for America’s cannabis industry, specifically with our hiring practices and continued support of individuals and communities disproportionately impacted by the unjust War on Drugs,” stated Sasha Nutgent, Store Manager of Housing Works Cannabis Co.
This won’t be New York’s only legal dispensary–more dispensaries will follow suit and open in the future. In fact, 36 NYS marijuana dispensaries were granted licenses back in November of this year, including 28 qualifying individuals and 8 nonprofit CAURD applicants.
Those granted licenses included Nube NYC LLC in the Bronx, Carl M. Anderson III in the Bronx, Royal Leaf NY in the Bronx, Gabbys Green LLC in Queens, CGG Enterprises Inc. in Queens, Suzanne M. Furboter in Queens, Anthony Crapanzano in Queens, Smacked LLC in Manhattan, Gabriel Marin in Manhattan, Planet 51 LLC in Manhattan, Florisun LLC in Manhattan, Eastern Holdings 88 LLC on Staten Island, and SAMJNY Holdings LLC on Staten Island.
“We set a course just nine months ago to start New York’s adult-use cannabis market off on the right foot by prioritizing equity, and now, we’re fulfilling that goal,” Governor Hochul said. “The industry will continue to grow from here, creating inclusive opportunity in every corner of New York State with revenues directed to our schools and revitalizing communities.”
With this news we can’t help but wonder if the next step will be NYC restaurants serving cannabis-infused food–guess we’ll have to wait and see!