Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

World

First legal recreational marijuana shop opens in New York City

New York’s first legal recreational marijuana dispensary opened on Thursday in the heart of Manhattan.

New York's first legal recreational marijuana dispensary is run by the nonprofit Housing Works, a group dedicated to fighting homelessness and AIDS - Copyright AFP KENA BETANCUR
New York's first legal recreational marijuana dispensary is run by the nonprofit Housing Works, a group dedicated to fighting homelessness and AIDS - Copyright AFP KENA BETANCUR
Celine GESRET, Marianne BARBOSA

New York’s first legal recreational marijuana dispensary opened on Thursday in the heart of Manhattan.

More than 100 people crowded into the dispensary in New York City’s East Village, run by the nonprofit Housing Works, a group dedicated to fighting homelessness and AIDS.

“The first legal adult-use cannabis sales mark a historic milestone in New York’s cannabis industry,” said Governor Kathy Hochul, who oversees the fourth most populous US state.

Hochul said in a statement that she expects New York to serve “as a national model for the safe, equitable and inclusive industry we are now building.”

– Ex-felons get first licenses –

Housing Works was among the first of 36 groups or individuals granted a retail marijuana license on November 21.

The stated goal of New York is to grant the first 150 licenses to traders convicted in the past for possession or sale of cannabis.

For more than a year, it has been legal for adults over 21 to consume cannabis in the state of New York. — © AFP

The goal is to repair what Hochul described as the unfair and disproportionate impact of decades of prohibition of marijuana, which has affected African American and Hispanic communities.

Tax revenues from the marijuana dispensaries will “be invested in communities across the state to support public schools, addiction services, mental health services, housing and other community-based programs,” her statement said.

The Housing Works Cannabis Co. dispensary is at a prime location — on Broadway Avenue just north of Astor Place.

Inside the shop, speaking to reporters, New York state senator Liz Krueger said she expects the ramp up of legal marijuana dispensaries will help “those most impacted by the failed cannabis criminalization policies of the past.”

– ‘A real boon’ –

Even hard-line Mayor Eric Adams, a former police officer, nodded toward the economic benefit of the dispensaries, saying the “legal cannabis market could be a real boon to New York’s economic recovery… through increased tax revenues.”

Chris Alexander, head of New York’s Office of Cannabis Management, holds up cannabis jelly beans at the opening of the city’s first cannabis boutique. — © AFP

In a festive atmosphere at the shop, Housing Works founder Charles King said he was “eager to reinvest the profits to provide essential services to tens of thousands of New Yorkers who need it.”

Manhattan borough president Mark Levine came to the opening and made a point of buying cannabis products — including jelly beans.

For more than a year, it has been legal for adults over 21 to consume cannabis in the state of New York and in its flagship city the smell of weed fills the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

City Hall expects $1.3 billion in sales by 2023 and 19,000 to 24,000 new jobs in three years.

strs-nr/led/tjj/mtp

AFP
Written By

With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

You may also like:

World

Medical team members evacuate a Muslim pilgrim, affected by the soarching heat, at the base of Mount Arafat, also known as Jabal al-Rahma or...

Tech & Science

Should progress with global heating not meet its international targets then the season could be 55 days shorter by the same date, under a...

Business

Asian markets extended last week’s poor run with more losses Monday, following on from another tepid lead from Wall Street.

Tech & Science

It was also found that the relationship between genotype and phenotype is more different than the relationship between coffee and tea.