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Monday, January 30, 2023

Regulators buy first legal weed products in New York

State officials were happy to get involved in the history as New York celebrates its first day of regulated adult use sales.


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New York’s first legal cannabis products were not sold to regular customers. Chris Alexander and Tremaine Wright, leaders of the state’s cannabis legalization efforts, made their first celebratory purchases shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday after a press conference at Housing Works, New York’s first adult-use weed store in Greenwich Village, New York.

“It’s been a long way to get here. There have been a lot of potholes and challenges. And not a lot of people thought they were going to hit the Q4 goal of 2022, to open shop. I have to say hallelujah, here we are.”

Tremaine Wright, president of the New York Cannabis Control Board

Tremaine Wright, chair of the New York Cannabis Control Board (left) and executive director of the New York State Office of Cannabis Management Chris Alexander (right) on Thursday, December 29, 2022 (Meg Schmidt/Leafly)

Wright bought edible gummies while Alexander grabbed gum and priced a local flower from Florist Farms for just under $100 after tax. Alexander said he plans to file the papers later.

“Legalization for us was never just about factory deregulation. [We] I realized the early intersection of this issue, and the way we can use this fight to raise other voices. And not just an important criminal justice reform [and] access to health care, but also [to] Make sure that we create opportunity in a new way, that we prioritize, and repair the damage — the damage that was done even through state policy.”

Chris Alexander, executive director of the New York Office of Hemp

Just in time

Optimism and relief filled the air as organizers and lawmakers celebrated a successful opening day, which occurred at just one retail store location. When New York legalized adult use of cannabis in March 2021, the state promised an 18-month period until adult-use weed stores could open.

Housing Works is one of eight non-profit organizations that have been granted licenses to sell cannabis in New York. As such, it was the first physical location to open as other licensees continue to build their brick-and-mortar storefronts and run delivery-only services. Housing Works currently offers six brands, including pre-rolled and flowers from Lobo Canagares And eating flowers from flower farms.

The state will open more stores on a rolling basis starting in 2023. No other licensed retailer has confirmed their opening dates yet. The housing business will be closed from 12pm to 4pm on Thursdays, after which the doors will open to the public at 4:20pm for legal adult use sales. The store expects to welcome more than 2,000 first-day shoppers who have responded in advance, along with those who line up on a whim.

John H., a 24-year-old who grew up in Queens, jumped off the couch while watching The price is right After news of the opening of the housing business during a commercial break.

Justice over everything

Ahead of the festive first sales, lawmakers and regulators shared their passions and insights for New York’s fair cannabis industry.

“New York State is not the first state to legalize cannabis,” said Mark Levin, president of the Manhattan Borough Office. “There were a few dozen who went ahead of us. But we are the first country to build equity into the program’s DNA,” Levin said, before calling out the failure of other states to follow through.

“Every country that’s ever done this, rants about this idea, has had the fairness rhetoric. But when the program started running, eventually, the major players took control of the companies. We can’t let that happen in New York, and we won’t let this happen in New York, because of the leaders.” who are here, because of the way the program was designed.”

Mark Levine, Manhattan Borough President’s Office

Carolina Rivera, a New York City Councilwoman for Lower East Side Manhattan, has noted the negative impact of the criminalization of cannabis in her community where she grew up. Now, she’s high on smoking legally, while knowing the profits go to those who need it most.

“This day has finally come. I know a lot of us have been waiting. I mean, I’ve been waiting since I was a teenager.”

Carolina Rivera, New York City Councilwoman for Manhattan’s Lower East Side

New York wants small cannabis brands to thrive

Current New York lawn industry regulations prohibit vertical operators in the emerging market. The state has expressed a desire for the legal weed industry to resemble the alcohol and wine markets, where small retailers choose brands buyers love and big corporations can’t afford to buy undue influence like premium shelf space.

“It’s very important that the first dispensary not be a major corporate operator. It’s run by a wonderful nonprofit, Housing Works. So the proceeds generated here will support their work for homeless New Yorkers, formerly incarcerated New Yorkers, for people living with HIV. This is fairness.”

Mark Levine, Manhattan Borough President

Senator Liz Krueger (D-NY) said, “I hope [other states] You realize you can make social justice the center of the mission.” Lawmakers will continue to look at what every other legal state is doing and shift accordingly, she said. Bad”.

Hang out with the first customer in line

Ken, a Leafly fan from Houston, Texas, was first in line outside the Housing Works, smoking a bowl of Green Crack in anticipation of the first sale at 4:20 p.m.

“I don’t trust the local weed dealers. They always tell me [there’s] Lots of pesticides and whatnot,” Ken told Leafly Ben Tookes as he waited in line. “You don’t have to worry about my lungs getting stuck. I’m cool with all the unregulated stores. It’s all good for me. But I would sometimes go buy some shit, it never hurts. Colorado, it’s 60 to 100 ounces and so I’d like to see more of that here.”

“I definitely prefer dispensaries because I like things that are regulated. I’m cool with people doing what they want. But my preference is if I can afford to be regulated, then sure.”

Ken, who recently moved to New York from Houston, Texas, was the first to purchase legal cannabis from Housing Works.

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