New York’s first licensed adult-use cannabis retailer is set to open its doors next Thursday, December 29, according to an announcement by the office of Gov. Kathy Hochul (D).
“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. 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.” — Gov. Hochul, in a statement
The shop, Housing Works, is a charitable nonprofit located near St. Mark’s Place in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood. The company plans to offer services for people living with HIV/AIDS as well as homeless, formerly incarcerated, or justice-involved individuals, according to the release.
Sasha Nutgent, the store manager for Housing Works, called the launch a “once-in-a-lifetime moment.”
“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,” Nutgent said.
“I’m excited that a non-profit like Housing Works, with its support for formerly incarcerated individuals, will lead the way with sales,” said Cannabis Control Board Chairwoman Tremaine Wright. “The start of sales through the Seeding Opportunity Initiative is just the beginning of the robust ecosystem we’re building — the equitable and inclusive market will grow from here with supports throughout to ensure licensees are able to overcome barriers and build this new industry.”
New York cannabis regulators have issued 36 conditional adult-use cannabis dispensary licenses, so far — 28 to qualifying companies and eight to non-profits like Housing Works. In order to qualify for one of the nonprofit retail licenses, companies must have at least one justice-involved board member and must offer employment opportunities for those with a marijuana conviction.
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