Chris Alexander, the executive director of New York's Office of Cannabis Management, personally ushered in the era of legal adult-use marijuana sales on December 29th.
It will take more than Alexander paying for an eighth of an ounce of New York-grown cannabis and a 100-milligram package of watermelon-flavored THC gummies,
for New York to fulfill its lofty social justice promises.
Alexander was the first person in the nation to purchase recreational marijuana.
When the next legal adult-use retail operator will open its doors in New York state is not known. Dozens of entrepreneurs are waiting for regulatory approval to open their cannabis businesses.
The Office of Cannabis Management is working as fast as possible to get more stores open so that New York consumers can experience the sun-grown cannabis products made by experienced family farmers in New York.
Alexander was the first customer to purchase in the first legal adult-use store after a flurry of speeches from politicians.
The first adult-use sales were supposed to happen by the end of the year.
One operational shop is far below Gov. Kathy Hochul's promise of 20 operating stores in New York before the start of 2023 - a missed goal that prompted some public snickering across the Hudson River in New Jersey.
With no clear word from the state as to when or where the next shops will open, New York's legal program opened with more questions than answers.
Both Housing Works and the OCM were overjoyed by the fact that it was still enough to leave them.
New Yorkers are excited about regulated, reliable, and trustworthy cannabis products,
and the lines around the block and happy faces of customers leaving Housing Works Cannabis dispensary affirm what we have known for months.
According to a statement from the store's retail manager, more than 500 customers passed through the doors on the first day.
There is a lot of work still to be done.
With only a few products available at Housing Works and with New York's robust market still doing a brazen banner business mere steps from where a crowd would queue to be let in when general sales began at 4:20 p.m., it's not hard to see why a crowd would The state has a lot of work to do to fulfill its potential as one of the biggest marijuana markets in the country, as well as its own oft-repeated promises to the public that this market will also be the country's most equitable.
Legal retail capacity has increased. For the past year, the vast majority of unregulated marijuana operators have been free to operate unfettered.
After the passage of its Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, it was clear that New York needed to make good on its ambitious goals in order to avoid the problems of other states.
Alexander flashed his historic purchase, a $65 jar of Banana Runtz and a $30 package of watermelon flavored THC gummies, to the world, but he didn't say "just open up the market"
Alexander promised more enforcement would come for the city's illegal market, where cannabis is openly sold out of food trucks and unlicensed storefronts.
He said that they had seized millions of dollars of product. We are going to continue doing that.
Alexander said that the push for people to transition from the illegal to the regulated market would be created by more dispensary openings.
Initial sales figures won't be made public until more retailers are open for business.
Alexander didn't have a time frame on when that would be.
The Housing Works Cannabis Co.'s grand opening was not attended by the New York City Mayor or Hochul.
Priority is given to cannabis equity operators.
The state of New York promised that the first 200 adult-use stores would all be social equity applicants. The first lease for a cannabis dispensary was signed near the Apollo Theater in Harlem on December 7th. It's not clear when that store will open. The first 36 licenses were issued by the state in November.
A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of New York's legalization regulations has been blamed for the delay of the state's adult-use cannabis market.
Some of the country's largest and most prominent publicly-traded multistate operators might have to wait for as long as three years before they're allowed to join the state's medical cannabis industry.
The New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association, which represents eight of the existing MMJ providers, will lobby state officials to lift the three-exclusion rule.
The store is the only legitimate adult-use show in town and shoppers are greeted by official signs. The officials are hoping that they can convince enough buyers to abandon the illegitimate sellers and pay more for a taxed and regulated product. New York City's cannabis liaison suggested that eradication of the illegal market is doomed to fail.
She said that the illegal market and the legal market can coexist. Someone who doesn't understand economics or process came up with the idea that it should be immediate.
Keywords: Housing Works Cannabis, YORK, York City, York Medical Cannabis
Online Delta 8 THC Cannabis: Everything you need to know
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