Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Housing Works Cannabis Company
Potheads Rejoice! NYC Opens Its First Cannabis Dispensary
As of Thursday, people over 21 can legally purchase recreational marijuana in New York City. Housing Works Cannabis Company is the state’s first cannabis dispensary.
Legalization Of Recreational Cannabis In New York
When the rest of the country passed laws to legalize marijuana, New York City finally approved the recreational use of cannabis in early 2022. After COVID-19 hurt the city’s economy and damaged many lives, the legalization of marijuana became one of the state’s tools to bounce back from the devastation financially. Decriminalizing recreational marijuana also released many of the legal pressures Black and Brown people have been experiencing over possessing weed for decades.
Housing Works Cannabis Company
Housing Works Cannabis Company is dedicated to promoting social and economic justice through the sale of cannabis. The organization is based in New York City and funded by Housing Works, a non-profit that provides housing and support to homeless people with HIV/AIDS.
“We serve overwhelmingly a population that has been criminalized by the war on drugs and we felt it was appropriate for us to be able to not only sell cannabis, but use that as an opportunity to hire and employ people who’ve been just as involved due to use and possession of cannabis,” said CEO of Housing Works, Charles King.
Grand Opening & More To Come For New Yorkers
Very excited to participate in NY’s first cannabis retail sales. You can support @housingworks at 750 Broadway/E 8th Street. Historic day so I brought exact change 😎 https://t.co/kZLEZO2iQf
— Carlina Rivera 利華娜 (@CarlinaRivera) December 29, 2022
Government officials who assisted in passing the laws and hundreds of New Yorkers showed up to the grand opening of Housing Works Cannabis Company in the East Village—located at 750 Broadway, right in the middle of the NYU campus and popular tourist attractions. Chris Alexander, the executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management in New York City, made the first purchase at 11:45 a.m.
New Yorkers lined up outside @housingworks Cannabis co, state’s first legal recreational weed dispensary, a few minutes ago ahead of 4:20 opening. pic.twitter.com/ceDNIolsNz
— Gwynne Hogan (@GwynneFitz) December 29, 2022
So far, New York has issued 36 licenses for retail cannabis dispensaries and expects to issue 139 more in 2023.
Some concerns from critics are that the legalization of weed could lead to more crime and car accidents in New York City. However, government officials believe that regulating marijuana will create less crime and make it safer for cannabis consumers to buy products at licensed dispensaries and retailers.
“Currently, cannabis sellers aren’t paying taxes. We’ll be paying taxes to the city, the state and the federal government. So legalizing cannabis and bringing in a regulated market is a way to improve the system overall for everyone,” King said.
Last but not least, Housing Works Cannabis Company products are all homegrown in New York. All their products are made by environmentally conscious farmers in an effort also to bring awareness and protect the environment.