New York legalized adult-use cannabis in 2021 and the first recreational marijuana dispensary opened its doors in Manhattan late last year. But so far, only four Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) retailers have opened statewide. Meanwhile, the number of unlicensed pot shops has skyrocketed, prompting operators in the nascent licensed cannabis industry and others to press state officials for action against illicit operators.
New York Legalization
Multistate operators with New York medical cannabis licenses sued regulators on Thursday in an attempt to gain quick entry into the state’s adult-use marijuana market.
The MSOs are currently shut out from New York’s legal recreational market.
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.
Roughly two dozen cannabis leaders from various corners of the market, including legacy, multistate operators, advocates and government officials, met Friday in Far Rockaway to address concerns about New York’s legalization roll out.
The “Leading The Charge” cannabis roundtable discussion was led by Esther Lelievre, co-founder of the Cultivated Community Foundation, and the office of NYS Senator James Sanders, Jr.
After years of panels and discussions, Lelievre said that action is now needed and education is essential for progress.
Additional dispensaries are likely to open in late January or early February, an official with the state’s Office of Cannabis Management said Tuesday. Details are hazy; it might be a dispensary that opens next, but it also might be a warehouse delivery location.
In the first round of licensing, the state approved 36 businesses. So far, only Housing Works in Manhattan has been permitted to open. New York is expected to issue dozens of additional licenses in the coming months.
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.
New York's Office of Cannabis Management has issued temporary guidelines for recreational marijuana delivery in order to speed up the process.
Under the rules, businesses with marijuana licenses will be able to deliver products before their dispensary is built. Orders will only be taken online or over the phone.
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.”
A federal judge has temporarily blocked New York from issuing recreational marijuana dispensary licenses in Brooklyn and parts of upstate New York while a legal challenge to the state's selection process is being considered.