New York Regulators Choose Harlem for First Recreational Dispensary Site

The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York said negotiations are ongoing for other leases.

New York State authorities have selected a spot in Harlem, just a stone’s throw from the Apollo Theater, as the first site for a recreational marijuana shop to be located, according to a report by The City.

The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) revealed the news during a meeting on Monday, The City reported, when agency CEO Reuben McDaniel III said the office had signed its first lease for an adult-use marijuana store at 248 W. 125th St.

“I’m pleased to announce that last night we signed our first lease,” McDaniel said. “For those of you familiar with Harlem, you can stand at the Apollo and throw a baseball right across the street.”

DASNY spokesman Jeffrey Gordon confirmed in an email that the agency has signed its first lease at the Harlem location, and said negotiations for more retail leases are ongoing.

“As we continue to work on identifying sites and finalizing leases with landlords for more than 100 adult use cannabis dispensaries across the state, we will provide updates on progress when announcements will not impact ongoing lease negotiations,” Gordon wrote.

McDaniel didn’t specify which license winner would be operating the store, The City reported, but he did say the rented space will be 128 square feet and construction will begin as soon as a final plan is approved.

DASNY has been tasked with building out $200 million worth of retail locations for many of the upcoming social equity cannabis retailers, but details of the buildouts, locations and plans have been scarce. It’s also unclear how much of the $200 million fund has been raised to date, aside from $50 million in state money that was allocated for the project.

Gordon also wrote in his email that updates will be provided “at appropriate times” on fundraising for the $200 million fund, again, to avoid affecting negotiations.

John Schroyer

John Schroyer has been a reporter since 2006, initially with a focus on politics, and covered the 2012 Colorado campaign to legalize marijuana. He has written about the cannabis industry specifically since 2014, after being on hand for the first-ever legal cannabis sales on New Year’s Day that year in Denver. John has covered subsequent marijuana market launches in California and Illinois, has written about every aspect of the marijuana trade, and was part of the team that built the cannabis industry’s first-ever trade show, MJBizCon. He joined Green Market Report in 2022.

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