Cannabis for recreational use becomes available in New York.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul stated that at 4:20 p.m. on Thursday, the first public sales of controlled cannabis had begun at a dispensary in Manhattan’s East Village.

When Housing Works Cannabis Company opened its doors for business, it made history as the first dispensary in the state to be legally permitted to sell marijuana.

Hochul stated that the dispensary is run by Housing Works, a non-profit organisation that helps persons who are HIV positive, homeless, or have been incarcerated. Housing Works, which operates a “network of nonprofit retail stores,” will get all earnings from the store, which will be open seven days a week.

Hochul stated, “We set a course just nine months ago to start the right foot on the right foot for New York’s adult-use cannabis industry by emphasising equity, and now we’re meeting that aim.”

City authorities have stated that the proposal is intended to “assist persons disproportionally impacted by cannabis enforcement” through a social and economic fairness initiative.

To promote diversity in the industry, the initiative “creates a goal of 50% of licences to go to a minority or woman owned business enterprise, or distressed farmers, or service-disabled veterans,” according to a city press release.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams stated in a statement on Thursday, “Today marks a huge milestone in our efforts to develop the most fair cannabis business in the nation.”

Adams believes that “the legal cannabis market has the potential to be a big boon to New York’s economic recovery” by providing “new jobs, establishing wealth in previously disadvantaged communities,” and boosting state and local tax income.

After the New York State Senate and Assembly passed the bill legalising recreational marijuana use for everyone over the age of 21, former governor Andrew Cuomo signed it into law in March 2021. Previous convictions for marijuana-related offences that would now be allowed under the new law are also eligible for expungement under the New York State Cannabis/Cannabis Regulation & Taxation Act.

In accordance with the new law, those above the age of 21 will be able to purchase cannabis from licenced vendors. A maximum of 3 fluid ounces of cannabis or 24 grammes of cannabis concentrate may be carried by an adult. Adults will be able to cultivate up to six mature and six immature plants in their homes under the new rule, provided they wait until 18 months after the first sales begin.

The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has stated that he “looks forward to signing” a measure that will legalise recreational marijuana.
The governor of New York has signed a bill into law that would make marijuana legal for anybody over the age of 21 to use for recreational purposes.

In addition, the bill creates the Office of Cannabis Management within the New York State Liquor Authority as a separate entity with the express purpose of enforcing regulations. Cuomo’s administration has stated that the office was intended to have a two-tier licencing structure that would divide farmers and processors from individuals who run retail establishments.

The legislation will impose a 13% sales tax on consumer goods to fund state and local governments.

According to a previous CNN story, New York stands to gain between 30,000 and 60,000 new employment and an estimated $350 million in annual tax revenue from the legalisation and regulation of the cannabis sector.

“People are ready,” According to Hochul’s office, New York’s Cannabis Control Board issued the first 36 adult-use retail licences on November 21, including 28 for eligible firms and eight for non-profits.

More than 2,000 people responded to Housing Works’ invitation to the grand opening. On Thursday, Charles King, CEO of Housing Works, told CNN that customers had been waiting in line that wrapped around the block for hours before to the store’s 4:20 p.m. opening. According to King, by the year 2023, the non-profit hopes to have three marijuana stores open in the New York City borough of Manhattan.

It’s possible that we won’t be able to help everyone in the three hours that we’re available, King said. The public is “quite hungry for change.”

According to King, the state of New York has contracted with a number of laboratories to conduct testing on all recreational cannabis products before they go on sale to adults. The lack of available stock was the main problem, he says.

On December 29, 2022, the first legal cannabis dispensary in New York City will open, and members of the media will be there to cover the event.

On December 29, 2022, the day before the first legal cannabis dispensary opens in New York City, members of the media gather for photos outside.
Picture by Kena Betancur / AFP / Getty Images
If you want to buy something from the dispensary, you’ll need to present some form of government-issued identity.

According to King, “we are compelled by regulation to card everyone who enters the store to ensure that we have actually done that carding.”

After waiting in line for four hours, Kenneth Woodin, a CNN affiliate viewer, said, “I want to be part of history.” The concept of legalised marijuana appeals to me.

sector of the economy with tremendous potential
Despite being illegal at the federal level, the marijuana industry is one of the fastest-growing in the US. Over two-thirds of the states in the United States now permit the use of cannabis in some form. In 1996, California was the first state to approve the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Since then, 39 states plus DC have passed legislation legalising medical marijuana. DC and 21 other states have legalised cannabis for recreational consumption.

With growing support around the country, ballot initiatives in Missouri and Maryland in 2022’s midterm elections legalised recreational marijuana.

In a survey done in October, the Pew Research Center found that 59% of respondents agree that marijuana should be legalised for both medical and recreational use, while 30% disagree. The survey also indicated that only 10% of adults believe that marijuana use should not be allowed.

By issuing a pardon for all federal convictions of simple possession of marijuana in October, President Joe Biden took the first significant steps by a US president toward removing criminal penalties for possessing marijuana, a move that senior administration officials said would affect thousands of Americans charged with that crime.

The Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, addresses the White House Competition Council on September 26, 2022. The meeting took place in the White House. Vice President Biden discussed the efforts of his administration to control inflation, slash consumer costs, and increase worker wages.

In one of the first significant moves toward legalisation, Vice President Biden has issued a blanket pardon for all federal convictions related to simple marijuana possession.
Vice President Biden has requested that the scheduling of marijuana under federal law be reviewed “expeditiously” by the Department of Health and Human Services and Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The legalisation of marijuana in New Jersey prompted New York to introduce a similar bill. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation in February 2021 that would legalise and regulate marijuana use for people over the age of 21, decriminalise possession of small amounts of marijuana, and clarify penalties for use and possession by those under the age of 21.

Arrests for marijuana use vary widely by race
According to research conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union, there are significant racial discrepancies in arrests involving marijuana across the country.

The ACLU found that between 2010 and 2020, “Black individuals were 3.64 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people,” despite the fact that the two groups had identical rates of marijuana consumption.

The survey found that “Black persons were more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession in every single state,” with some states showing a disparity of as much as six, eight, or almost 10 times.

Amber Littlejohn, CEO of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, recently told CNN that policymakers and industry participants should not lose sight of how individuals, especially people of colour, continue to be criminalised for actions that are now legal at the state level.

“We need to get people out of prison, and we need to stop arresting people for things that folks are making lots of money doing,” Littlejohn emphasised.

The workplace is also extremely hostile to people of colour. Those whose communities suffered as a result of the War on Drugs have been targeted by efforts to provide employment for those with nonviolent marijuana convictions. However, Littlejohn argues that these initiatives have mainly failed because of state rules that restrict licencing, do not provide financial and business resources to persons of colour, and instead favour more well-off multistate operators.

According to her, “one of the main concerns” is that “there seems to be an amazing mismatch between what people say they support and believe in and what [becomes law]. People need to be held responsible because “we” as a group need to do so.


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