It’s legal: the first cannabis shop is open in New York

Since Thursday, it has been legal to buy cannabis in official stores in New York State: the very first business approved by the authorities has opened in the heart of Manhattan.

More than 100 crowded into the trendy boutique-like premises of Housing Works, a non-profit organization, the first to open under license from New York State, out of 36 permits. issued since November 21.

« The first sale of legal adult cannabis represents a historic milestone for the cannabis industry in New York, » said Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul.

The leader said in a statement: « Today is just the beginning, and I look forward to continuing our efforts to make New York a national model for the industry that is safe, fair and for as many people as possible. we are building”.

Ex-convicts for drugs

Behind this first official store operates the Housing Works association, which helps HIV-positive people, former prisoners and homeless people.

The huge state of New York wants to grant the first 150 licenses to traders who have been convicted in the past for possessing or selling cannabis.

The goal: to repair what he considers today to be the unjust and disproportionate impact of decades of prohibition of « marijuana », the criminalization of which he believes has particularly targeted the African-American and Hispanic communities.

“Failed Penalty”

In the store, during a press presentation, local New York State Senator Liz Krueger, who led the project to legalize this trade, said she was « honored to attend the launch of the adult retail sale of cannabis”.

She welcomed the cooperation between the authorities and Housing Works for “marginalised communities” who have been “most affected by the failure of past policies to criminalize cannabis”.

Even the fiery mayor of the New York megacity Eric Adams, a former police officer, acknowledged in a statement that « the legal cannabis market could be a real boon for New York’s economic recovery. […] by increasing tax revenue.

In a festive atmosphere and to applause, Charles King, founder of Housing Works in 1990, said he was “looking forward to reinvesting profits to provide essential services to tens of thousands of New Yorkers in need”.

Around him, the mayor of the borough of Manhattan Mark Levine and the director of the office of cannabis management for the State of New York Chris Alexander bought, moved, products containing cannabis: dried plants, electronic cigarettes or gummy candies.

For more than a year, it has been legal for an adult over the age of 21 to consume cannabis in New York State, and in its flagship city, the smell of weed has invaded the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn. .

The town hall is counting on 1.3 billion dollars in sales from 2023 and 19,000 to 24,000 job creations in three years.

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