New York Archives - Green Market Report

Adam JacksonJanuary 13, 2023
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A second New York dispensary is set to open in Manhattan more than two weeks after the state saw its first legal adult-use sale.

The “Union Square Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store,” will be located at the former home of an old Chase bank on the corner of Broadway and East 13th Street, across from the Union Square subway station.

The store plans to open in February, but have a soft opening on Friday at a facility with an entrance at 62 East 13th St. while the main 5,000-square-foot space is being built out.

Of the proceeds, 51% will go to the Doe Fund, which provides housing, career training and counseling to marginalized populations in New York City. Additionally, the store will only sell products cultivated in the state with a focus on women and BIPOC-owned businesses.

The dispensary will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends, seven days a week.

The first legal adult-use dispensary opened Dec. 28 at a former Gap retail store in lower Manhattan near Astor Place. The historic opening marked a long-awaited launch of a state marijuana market that many analysts project could become one of the country’s most promising.

Despite the proliferation of numerous illegal shops throughout the state, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Dec. 21 that Housing Works,  is a minority-controlled nonprofit that focuses on helping those with HIV and AIDS, would be the first of 36 recently licensed dispensaries to begin selling cannabis to the general public. Housing Works has been known for running a small chain of charitable retail outlets.

The state is expected to issue an additional 139 licenses in the coming months for about 900 applicants. The state reserved its first round of retail licenses for applicants with marijuana convictions or their relatives, plus some nonprofit groups.

It also planned a $200 million public-private fund to aid social equity applicants with real estate, though its status and how much progress has been made is not exactly clear. Industry stakeholders told Green Market Report in November that there’s been little news on how much progress has been made by fund managers in actually raising capital or getting state monies deposited, so that actual retail spaces can be leased for social equity cannabis companies.

The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York then missed its Dec. 30 deadline to report to the governor, the legislature and the public on its status and details about the social equity program and its relationship with the firm it selected as a fund manager. A DASNY spokesperson told NY Cannabis Insider last week that the agency “will have the report out soon.”

The New York Office of Cannabis Management, also extended the license application window for marijuana testing labs to March 31, from its originally scheduled closure of New Year’s Eve.

Chris Alexander, the executive director of the OCM, told the Cannabis Control Board at a public meeting in December that adding that the state is still looking for top-notch lab candidates.“That is a cornerstone of the market that we’re building,” he said.

Alexander also said that the state is rolling out more resources to support the legal marijuana market and to suppress the thriving illicit trade, including:

  • A public education campaign called “Why Buy Legal New York.”
  • A new verification emblem to be displayed by licensed retailers.
  • Ongoing enforcement against unlicensed retailers, including the seizure of more than $4 million in illegal cannabis products from 53 locations by the New York City Sheriff’s joint task force.

Video StaffDecember 30, 2022

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New York opened its first adult-use cannabis dispensary in lower manhattan on December 29, 2022. The state had insisted sales would begin by the end of the year and it managed to do that in the waning days of 2022. Non-profit Housing Works is the first dispensary and all its profits will go to its charitable works.

“For years, advocates and members of New York’s cannabis community have been working toward this momentous milestone; the first adult-use dispensary opening its doors, stocked with brands and products grown, processed, manufactured and owned right here in New York,” said Kristina Lopez Adduci, CEO and founder of House of Puff. “We are ecstatic that House of Puff will be one of those New York brands that will be available for purchase and thank Housing Works for supporting us and other local cannabis companies during this crucial moment. The opening of their dispensary is just one embodiment of the vision set out by the MRTA and is a significant step towards establishing a fully operable and equitable legal cannabis industry built by and for New Yorkers and our communities most adversely affected by cannabis prohibition.”

“While working in the Governor’s office, I had the honor of helping shape the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA). It is the most ambitious cannabis legislation in the nation and great care was taken to learn from states that came before us and work to establish a truly equitable, legal cannabis industry,” said Jesse Campoamor, founder of Campoamor & Sons. “Today’s store opening is an important milestone for New York’s nascent cannabis industry and begins the process of rewriting the narrative on cannabis. Just a few years ago, New York led the nation in cannabis arrests, but soon New York will lead the country in legal sales and tax revenue collection. I congratulate everyone on this monumental day, including Governor Hochul, the Office of Cannabis Management, the Cannabis Control Board, and of course, Housing Works, and look forward to celebrating the opening of the first dispensary.”

“Since the MRTA was signed, now nearly two years ago, we have all been envisioning the moment that legal adult-use sales would finally launch here in New York,” said Allan Gandelman, President of the Cannabis Association of New York. “The state’s first recreational dispensary opening its doors with shelves stocked full of New York-owned-and-operated brands, including products grown and processed by CANY members, is a culmination of all the hard work, dedication, and advocacy of the cannabis community over the past several years. We applaud Housing Works for being mindful and supportive of this vision and congratulate them on their entrance into the industry. Though this moment feels surreal, we hope it’s just one of many upcoming milestones achieved toward building a truly restorative, opportunistic, and sustainable New York-led cannabis industry.”


StaffDecember 13, 2022
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The Daily Hit is a recap of cannabis business news for Dec. 13, 2022.

ON THE SITE

Green Thumb Taps New Executives in C-Suite Shuffle

Green Thumb Industries Inc. (CSE: GTII) (OTCQX: GTBIF) has chosen four new executives to help spearhead the Chicago-based operator’s management team, the company said in a Tuesday release. The news comes a couple months after three of Green Thumb’s four independent board members departed in in October, along with company’s general counsel and corporate secretary, Beth Burk. All three directors were part of the company’s audit committee. Read more here.

High Tide Begins Selling Cannabis Seeds to US After DEA Signs Off

Canadian-based marijuana company High Tide (Nasdaq: HITI) (TSXV: HITI) (FSE: 2LYA) has commenced online sales of cannabis seeds directly to U.S. consumers, now that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency clarified earlier this year that it considers seeds to be akin to hemp, which is federally legal. Read more here.

Laid-Off Trulieve Worker Files Possible Class Action Suit

Florida-based Trulieve (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF) may have a class-action lawsuit on its hands now that one ex-worker has filed suit against the business and is claiming she and “other similarly situated employees” didn’t receive a mandatory 60-day notification prior to losing their jobs. Read more here.

New York Hosts Dispensary Showroom in The Bronx

Bronx Community Foundation, partners, and CAURD applicants launched The Bronx Dispensary Showroom: A Cannabis Retail Pop-Up Experience recently. It featured a built-out model of a New York State-compliant dispensary, demonstrating the entire cannabis retail experience. Educational and workforce programming focused on opportunities to build generational wealth in under-resourced communities harmed by cannabis prohibition. Learn more here.

Could Residency Lawsuits Upend Social Equity in Cannabis?

A series of lawsuits challenging residency requirements in at least three states has some advocates of cannabis industry social equity programs worried that those programs could be in jeopardy. And they have good reason to be concerned. Read more here.

Earnings:

IN OTHER NEWS

New Hampshire

The Democratic and Republican leaders of the New Hampshire House of Representatives announced on Monday that they will be jointly filing a bill to legalize marijuana for the 2023 session – a bipartisan effort that’s backed by key advocacy and industry stakeholder groups. Read more here.

Massachusetts

Cannabis prices in Massachusetts have been steadily decreasing for more than a year, and those running businesses in the burgeoning industry expect them to keep dropping. While customers may be rejoicing over greater access to marijuana, the lowering of prices has some concerned about the ramifications for cultivators, small businesses, and the employees that make it all run. Read more here.

Washington state

Looking to the new year, some of Washington state’s cannabis businesses are focused on safety challenges, including ongoing store robberies, and preparing for the potential of interstate marijuana commerce. That’s according to the Washington CannaBusiness Association (WACA), a trade association in the state that represents marijuana retailers, producers, processors, transporters and banks. Read more here.


Video StaffDecember 13, 2022

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Bronx Community Foundation, Partners, and CAURD Applicants launched The Bronx Dispensary Showroom: A Cannabis Retail Pop-Up Experience recently. It featured a built-out model of a New York State-compliant dispensary, demonstrating the entire cannabis retail experience. Educational and workforce programming focused on opportunities to build generational wealth in under-resourced communities harmed by cannabis prohibition.

The Showroom is The Bronx Community Foundation’s latest initiative to provide resources and education about cannabis to CAURD license applicants and other community members. In July 2022, The Foundation partnered with The Bronx Defenders to launch The Bronx Cannabis Hub, which has provided support—including application and legal assistance—to CAURD license applicants. The Hub has worked with hundreds of New Yorkers, helping 35 apply for CAURD licenses.

The CAURD licenses process stems from New York State’s Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) which passed in 2021 with social equity provisions that include reserving the State’s first 150 retail cannabis licenses for New Yorkers who have been directly impacted by cannabis prohibition.

The MRTA’s social equity provisions were created in recognition of the harms that cannabis prohibition caused, particularly in communities of color. In New York City, in the decades leading up to legalization, well over 90% of the people arrested for marijuana offenses were people of color, despite usage rates being equal across races. In 2011 alone, over 50,000 people — overwhelmingly and disproportionately young men of color — were arrested for low-level marihuana possession in New York City.

Disproportionate policing led to these communities suffering harm, including arrests, convictions, jail time, loss of housing, inability to get student loans, family separation (ACS taking children because of marijuana use), and deportation.

The impact was most harmful in communities like The Bronx. A 2018 Report by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer examined the neighborhoods with the highest rates of marijuana-related arrests in NYC between 2010 and 2017. Nearly half of all neighborhoods in the Bronx were among the top ten by arrest rate.

In late November 2022, New York State’s cannabis regulators announced the first 36 license recipients (individual businesses and nonprofits) from a pool of 903 applicants. The first of these retail locations is expected to be in operation by the end of the year.


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