Last week, the state of New York launched its first legal dispensary for recreational cannabis. The dispensary, which is operated by Housing Works, is the first legal shop in what is expected to be one of the most profitable markets for marijuana in the country.
Housing Works is a not-for-profit organization that is minority controlled and serves individuals who were formerly incarcerated as well as the homeless and individuals diagnosed with HIV and AIDS.
New York legalized the recreational use of marijuana in March 2021. However, unauthorized sellers have been selling the drug for years. Consumers’ purchasing regulated and high-quality marijuana from legal dispensaries is expected to shrink the illicit market in the state. Cannabis regulators also expect that the opening of legal stores will help ensure that users are buying safe products.
Additionally, officials at Housing Works are hopeful that investing in the cannabis industry will help fund its programs. They also revealed that the store had already received more than 2,000 reservations from individuals who wanted to buy their products.
The social service agency’s CEO Charles King stated that the agency was thrilled to be setting a model that others would soon follow. The new store is the first of 36 dispensaries that are scheduled for launch, with the Office of Cannabis Management announcing that it plans to issue more than 100 additional licenses.
The marijuana dispensary adjoins the New York University campus, which is a consumer market just waiting to be tapped. In a news conference during the launch, King highlighted that the store was in a prime location as it sat between the East Village and West Village, making it easily accessible to tourists.
The store’s first purchase was made by the executive director of New York’s cannabis office, Chris Alexander, who purchased a tin of cannabis flowers and watermelon-flavored gummies. Council member Carlina Rivera of New York City also purchased gummies, revealing that the store eliminated the need for her to go out of state for legal marijuana. Rivera added that more stores opening would benefit the state as well as the city’s economy.
Currently, the recreational use of marijuana is legal in more than 20 states. Unlike other states, New York issued its first retail licenses to nonprofits and applicants with cannabis convictions and their relatives. Additionally, the state established a $200 million fund to aid social equity businesses, which the law defines as businesses owned by minorities or women, individuals from communities that are heavily policed for marijuana, disabled veterans and struggling farmers.
The legal sale of recreational marijuana in New York State is coming at a time when many companies, including India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC), are investing heavily in developing cannabis-based therapeutic formulations, which can win FDA approval and be availed to patients in need through the hospital system of the country.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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