Following months of planning and preparation, New York is finally ready for recreational marijuana sales. In a prepared statement, Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday that the first legal cannabis sales will take place on December 29.
Hochul also shared plans for the future of the cannabis industry, which hopes to provide opportunities for communities that have been affected by the War on Drugs and to provide funding for schools and communities.
“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,” said Hochul per ABC7. “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.”
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Sales will launch at the Housing Works Cannabis Co. dispensary, located in the Manhattan location of Housing Works, a nonprofit that has multiple thrift stores located all over the city, providing services to people who were formerly incarcerated, those living with AIDS/HIV, and more. They were one of the first groups to be awarded some of New York’s first cannabis retail licenses, which prioritize social justice.
All sales from the dispensary will be directed to the nonprofit.
Charles King, CEO of Housing Works, said that their dispensary would continue to further the goals of the nonprofit. “At our core, we’re a healing community dedicated to providing housing, healthcare, and vocational programs for New Yorkers. This opportunity will not only give our team the resources to further our overall mission but to feature and elevate products coming from LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and women-led cannabis brands across the state.”
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“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,” said Natasha Nugent, the store’s manager, according to Bloomberg.
Housing Works Cannabis Co. will be open daily, and will provide pick-up and delivery services for shoppers.