Business & Economy

First legal marijuana store in New York opens

New York, Dec 29 (EFE).- The first legal store selling marijuana for recreational use in New York opened its doors on Thursday and made its first sale to the head of the state Office of Cannabis Management, Chris Alexander.

Upon emerging from the store, Anderson told reporters that he had bought 10 watermelon flavored cannabis gummies and a tin of Flores Farms marijuana buds.

The local Housing Works Cannabis company, located on lower Broadway in South Manhattan, is operated by the Housing Works non-governmental organization, which offers services to people with AIDS, the homeless and former prison inmates.

Housing Works CEO Charles King said at a press conference that “This location is a perfect location. We’re between the West Village, the East Village. Tourists can come by here easily. So we think we’re going to bring up a lot of sales here.”

The store will officially open to the over-21 public on Thursday at 4:20 pm, a nod and a wink at “4.20,” the number that is popular code for marijuana.

King added that 2,000 people had confirmed that they would attend the opening and he had no idea how the store was going to accommodate them all, but they would do what they could to attend to all customers, although he said people should bring cash because the firm cannot yet accept payment by debit or credit cards.

In March, New York joined other US states that have legalized the consumption of marijuana, but up until Thursday there had been no stores in the state at which one could buy cannabis products legally.

Nevertheless, since the legalization in the Big Apple, pot and pot products sales have been under way in unlicensed stores and on the street.

King remarked that the Office of Cannabis Management and the city mayor’s office are fulfilling their commitment to reduce the number of illegal pot sellers in the city, noting that the legal store – and others like it to open in the future – are selling “unadulterated” products, are not selling to minors and are paying the proper taxes on the sales.

Local authorities had promised to open marijuana products stores before yearend but the regulatory process had taken longer than anticipated and, in the end, just one store could be opened, although the licensing process for others will continue.

According to a statement released on Thursday by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, 280 farming families have received permits to grow pot which will be sold in local stores operated by licensed businesspeople and “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.”

So far, she said, New York’s cannabis control board had issued 36 licenses for retail marijuana product sales, 28 of them to companies and eight to non-profit organizations.

Meanwhile, New York Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement: “Today marks a major milestone in our efforts to create the most equitable cannabis industry in the nation. The opening of the first legal dispensary in our state right here in New York City is more than just a promising step for this budding industry – it represents a new chapter for those most harmed by the failed policies of the past.”

EFE –/bp

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