New York Governor Announces Start of Recreational Weed Sales

New York Governor Announces Start of Recreational Weed Sales
High Times

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday that regulated sales of recreational marijuana will begin in the state next week with the opening of a licensed retail shop in Manhattan. The dispensary, which will be operated by Housing Works, the nation’s largest minority-controlled HIV/AIDS service organization and largest community-based HIV/AIDS service organization, will begin serving customers at its East Village location in New York City on December 29. “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,” Hochul said in a statement from the governor’s office. “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.” The opening of the dispensary fulfills a pledge to launch retail sales of recreational marijuana in the state before the end of the year. The New York State legislature legalized adult-use cannabis last year with the passage of the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which was signed into law by former governor Andrew Cuomo on March 31, 2021. The launch of sales is also a milestone for Hochul’s Seeding Opportunity Initiative, which she announced in March to guide the rollout of New York’s regulated cannabis industry. The initiative was designed to fulfill the goals of the MRTA “by building an adult-use cannabis industry that offsets the harms resulting from the disproportionate impact of cannabis prohibition.” Under the plan, 280 family farmers have been licensed to cultivate cannabis to provide safe, lab-tested products for New York’s regulated recreational marijuana economy.  First Retail Licenses in New York Issued Last Month The Seeding Opportunity Initiative also reserved the first 150 Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses for individuals…

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