Recreational marijuana may now be legal in parts of New York, but you still have to have a license.
Law enforcement has been busy raiding places that are allegedly selling it illegally. Multiple locations in the Village were busted on Monday night, and several people were arrested.
Police say some weapons were also seized.
New York’s first legal weed dispensary is set to open Thursday.
On the eve of its grand opening, PIX11 News got a look inside Housing Works Cannabis, located at 750 Broadway, near Astor Place.
Last month, the state granted 36 licenses. 28 were given to business owners, prioritizing people who had served time behind bars for marijuana-related offenses. Eight additional licenses were issued to nonprofits like Housing Works, which serves people affected by HIV and homelessness. Proceeds from sales at the Housing Works store will go toward its programs.
Cannabis farmers in New York waiting for the state to roll out licenses to sell weed have stocked up $750M of the drug and currently have nowhere to sell it, according to a new report.
According to a report in Bloomberg, growers have nearly 300,000 pounds of the drug waiting to be sold to customers statewide but are still waiting on the state's Office of Cannabis Management to approve retail dispensaries.
"The goal is to open dispensaries by the end of this year."
— Aaron Ghitelman, spokesperson for the New York Office of Cannabis Management
I recently visited the city to check out the vibrant gray market. One of my first stops was Granny Za’s Weed Marijuana Dispensary on the Lower East Side. Inside was a small, brightly-painted showroom with several clerks behind glass cases with examples of product.
Before I picked up my preroll, I asked the clerk if their flower was grown locally. He said “I can’t actually tell you where it comes from.”
A moment later he told me, “All of our stuff is grown and fully tested in California.”
So I recently treated myself to a little NYC cannabis secret shopping-reporting tour to try to figure out what was going on. A tarot card reader sold me a pre-rolled joint off of a table in Washington Square Park, warning me to watch out for other sellers who might not know what they’re talking about. An issue to ponder for another day, on both of my merchant’s entrepreneurial fronts. Later, I bought an edible from a smoke shop even though neither I nor the guy selling it seemed clear on what it was. CBD? Just regular marijuana? The synthetic stuff that might set me up for a very bad time?
Schumer stressed to rally attendees that he’s working to win bipartisan support for the forthcoming bill he plans to introduce with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).
“I have invited every U.S. senator—every Democrat, every Republican—to come meet with us and tell us why they won’t support the bill or whether they will, and I’m making good progress,” Schumer said. “I’ve already met with six Republicans, so we can get 10 [and] we can get the 60 votes we need on the floor of the Senate to pass legislation that is so important.”
The customers began lining up before dawn at Rise Paterson, a marijuana dispensary in New Jersey that was welcoming customers with free doughnuts and reggaeton blaring from loudspeakers.
As New Jersey kicked off legalized sales of recreational marijuana on Thursday, Rise, along with roughly a dozen other medical marijuana dispensaries across the state, opened its doors for its first customers, ages 21 and older.
“I’m just excited that everything is opening up legally,” said Daniel Garcia, 23, of Union City, N.J., who was first in line at 3:30 a.m.
With little fanfare, a great pot divide is opening between cities and suburbs — and disadvantaged urban neighborhoods, long suffering from drug use, look again to be the losers, denied even the choice the more affluent are exercising.
According to the Rockefeller Institute of Government’s frequently updated Marijuana Opt-Out Tracker, 588 of 1,518 municipalities have resisted the blandishments of new tax revenues and just said no to marijuana retailers, while 670 have turned down consumption sites — what the Dutch euphemistically call “coffee shops.”
New York towns have just two weeks left to ban cannabis stores and consumption lounges under the state’s marijuana legalization law signed earlier this year. Those that don't opt-out by December 31 cannot restrict operations going forward, and the timeline has triggered a flurry of local government hearings where the safety and benefit of legal marijuana are being debated anew.
Yes, 420-friendly New Yorkers have more — cough, cough — options than ever to score weed after the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act went into law in March.
But all the storefronts, bodegas, galleries and converted food trucks selling or "gifting" out a kaleidoscope of marijuana strains are still operating illegally because state officials have yet to set up regulations on sales. The legally sold variety of cannabis remains as elusive as ever in New York City.