New York will open its first legal marijuana dispensary by the end of the year

The first legal recreational marijuana dispensary in New York is slated to open in December. 29, marking the long-awaited start of a cannabis industry that could become one of the most lucrative in the country.

Government. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday that Housing Works, a Manhattan-based minority-controlled nonprofit that serves people living with HIV and AIDS, will be the first of 36 recently licensed dispensaries to begin selling cannabis to the general public – although dozens of illegal shops were operating there for many months.

The announcement came a month after the state’s Cannabis Control Board took a monumental step in establishing a legal marijuana marketplace by granting its first round of licenses. In the coming months, the state is expected to issue another 139 licenses, with about 900 applicants awaiting their fate.

“The industry will continue to grow from here, creating inclusive opportunities in every corner of New York State, with proceeds going to our schools and revitalizing communities,” Hochul said in her announcement.

New York legalized recreational marijuana use in March 2021.

Housing Works, which also serves the homeless and ex-convicts, was one of eight nonprofit organizations among the first licensees.

“This opportunity will not only provide our team with the resources to advance our overall mission, but also to showcase and enhance products from LGBTQ+, BIPOC and women-owned cannabis brands across the state,” said Charles King, Chief Executive Officer of Housing Works.

The state reserved its first round of retail licenses for applicants with marijuana convictions or their relatives, as well as some nonprofit groups. It also planned a $200 million public-private fund to help “social justice” claimants.

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