New York has become the latest place in the United States where adult-use cannabis sales are permitted as the cannabis prohibition era continues to slowly but surely come to an end in the country.
On Thursday, Empire State Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the first sale of regulated recreational cannabis in the state’s history had taken place at the Housing Works Cannabis Co dispensary in Manhattan.
The historic transaction was made by Chris Alexander, Executive Director of the state’s Office of Cannabis Management. Alexander is an individual who spent years composing and fighting for the bill which eventually enabled him to freely purchase recreational pot.
Cannabis sales in New York State has a nice ring to it! 🍃
Come through to 750 Broadway at 4:20. We’re blazing our trail to equity! pic.twitter.com/2eA6uQZJHz
— NYS Office of Cannabis Management (@nys_cannabis) December 29, 2022
Additional New York dispensaries selling cannabis goods to customers over 21 will be opening in the coming days. Governor Hochul says the Cannabis Control Board issued 36 adult-use retail licenses at the end of November.
“The first legal adult-use cannabis sales mark a historic milestone in New York’s cannabis industry,” said Governor Hochul.
“Today is only the beginning, and I look forward to continuing our efforts to solidify New York as a national model for the safe, equitable and inclusive industry we are now building.”
Hochul added that the sales commencing today not only marked the official opening of the state’s legal cannabis market but also the beginning of a tax revenue stream that will go toward New York’s public schools, housing initiatives, addiction programs and mental health services.
“I am gratified to see the start of the adult retail cannabis sales, and that Housing Works has opened the first retail store. Their decades of work with marginalized communities make them a perfect partner in the effort to ensure that New York’s cannabis market provides meaningful opportunities to those most impacted by the failed cannabis criminalization policies of the past,” said Liz Krueger, State Senator.
Housing Works is a non-profit organization that has offered healthcare, housing and other essential services to New York residents impacted by substance use disorders, homelessness, AIDS and other issues for over 30 years. The dispensary it founded is a recipient of the state’s social equity license initiative.
Hochul says the Office of Cannabis Management provided guidance to state dispensaries in early December and recommended using delivery services to help jumpstart sales.
Rhode Island also recently legalized adult-use cannabis at the beginning of this month.