The first adult-use marijuana sales in New York will happen on Thursday afternoon—launching at the symbolic time of 4:20 PM, officials said.
Adults 21 and older will be able to make cannabis purchases at the Manhattan-based storefront run by the nonprofit organization Housing Works, which works to address AIDS and homelessness issues.
The governor and regulators confirmed the location and open date last week, touting the administration’s fulfilled promise to launch the recreational market this year—albeit with only a few days to spare and on a limited scale. On Thursday, officials held a press conference in anticipation of the first sales just hours away.
And we’ll open for business at 4:20! https://t.co/c8adqOe2qr
— Housing Works (@housingworks) December 28, 2022
A total of 36 organizations have so far received Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary License (CAURD), which were approved by the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) late last month. The administration has frequently emphasized the importance to establishing a regulated industry that puts equity front and center.
That said, questions are already being raised about potential federal ramifications related to having non-profits sell adult-use cannabis, with at least one lawyer arguing in a recent op-ed that it could jeopardize their federal 501(c)(3) status that makes them tax exempt.
Earlier this month, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) separately unveiled a marijuana business and product verification tool, with plans to post a QR code on licensed cannabis retailers and a universal symbol label for authorized cannabis products.
Officials also recently selected 10 teams of firms to build out about 150 turn-key storefront facilities for social equity marijuana retailers to operate out of once the market officially launches.
Most of the newly licensed business will be run by justice-involved people who’ve been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs, while others will be operated by nonprofit organizations that have a history of helping people reenter society after having been incarcerated.
Meanwhile, Hochul signed a bill late last month aimed at expanding the state’s hemp market by promoting collaborative partnerships to identify more opportunities to utilize the crop and its derivatives for packaging, construction and other purposes.
In Connecticut, the state’s first adult-use shops are expected to open next month, officials recently announced.
Also in the region, Rhode Island’s first recreational cannabis sales started at the beginning of December.
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