On Thursday at exactly 4:20 pm, the very first legal retail marijuana transaction took place in New York, heralding the birth of one of the most vibrant and lucrative marijuana markets in the U.S. The flagship dispensary is operated by a minority controlled non-profit by the name of Housing Works which serves the homeless, those with a history of incarceration, and the HIV/AIDS community at large. Housing Works was among 36 individuals/groups to receive marijuana retail licenses in the state last month that were issued to equity applicants under the CAURD program.
The dispensary is located at 750 Broadway, Astor Place Building, between the West and East Village in Manhattan. Officials from Housing Works believe that this location will help them “ring up a lot of sales” which they need to fund their charitable activities. Charles King, CEO of Housing Works has expressed optimism that their model will be a success and will set pace for progenies in the industry.
The first customer to be served at the dispensary, it is reported, was none other than the inaugural executive director of the state’s cannabis office, Chris Adams. He purchased a tin of dried flowers and some watermelon-flavored gummies in the full glare of media cameras. Hundreds of customers stood excitedly in queue to make their purchases as well as to witness this epic moment.