New York opens first legal cannabis dispensary | Lifestyles

New York opens first legal cannabis dispensary | Lifestyles

NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s first legal recreational marijuana dispensary began its first sales Thursday, opening what is expected to be one of the nation’s most lucrative markets for cannabis — underpinned by dozens of unlicensed shops that have been operating in open for years.

The long-awaited opening of the first state-sanctioned dispensary, which is operated by the nonprofit Housing Works, paves the way for a string of openings expected in the coming months in New York. The state legalized the recreational use of marijuana in March 2021.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be the first, and we hope to set a model that other people will have to follow,” said Charles King, chief executive of Housing Works, a minority-controlled social services agency that serves people with HIV and AIDS, as well as those who are homeless and formerly incarcerated.

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