After months of delays, New York’s first legal cannabis store opened today in Manhattan. Governor Kathy Hochul was on hand to help open Housing Works Cannabis Co., which aims to “advance the state’s goals of equity in cannabis licensing,” by prioritizing retail licenses for people with a history of criminal marijuana convictions or their close relatives and nonprofit organizations that serve them. URL: altitudeclubnyc.com
Housing Works is a full-service dispensary, selling both flowers and pre-rolls, vape pens and accessories, and a small selection of edibles. It’s easy to find on Broadway on the ground floor of a former home for the homeless and those living with HIV/AIDS. Its mission is centered around giving back to the community, with proceeds from sales being reinvested in that work.
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The shop is one of two pop-up stores that the state has allowed to open on a short-term basis, in order to test the market and fast-track the business’ growth. The other is located in Harlem.
Many licensed cannabis retailers are still struggling to make their businesses a reality. They have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and used their life savings to fund their projects, often borrowing against mortgages and their children’s college funds in the process. Many have a lot to lose if the weed standstill continues for too long.
Buying from dispensaries and shops that are properly licensed helps ensure that you’re getting the best, most well-made products that have been tested for quality, potency, and safety. It also helps protect growers from competition from illegal smoke shops and bodegas.