NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The first legal sales of cannabis in New York state will begin December 29 and a local New York City nonprofit will do the honors of initiating the first sales.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the start of adult-use cannabis retail sales at dispensaries in Manhattan operated by Housing Works.
Housing Works is a nonprofit that supports formerly incarcerated New Yorkers and the nation's largest minority-controlled HIV/AIDS service organization.
"At our core, we're a healing community dedicated to providing housing, healthcare, and vocational programs for New Yorkers," Charles King, CEO of Housing Works, said. "This opportunity will not only give our team the resources to further our overall mission but to feature and elevate products coming from LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and women-led cannabis brands across the state."
The nonprofit acts as the largest community-based HIV and AIDS service organization and offers a range of services for those affected by the disease, formerly incarcerated individuals and homeless individuals.
"We set a course just nine months ago to start New York's adult-use cannabis market off on the right foot by prioritizing equity, and now, we're fulfilling that goal," Hochul said. "The industry will continue to grow from here, creating inclusive opportunity in every corner of New York State with revenues directed to our schools and revitalizing communities."
The historic event will be the first step in the Seeding Opportunity Initiative, which is the roadmap for the goals of the recently passed New York Cannabis Law.
The initiative aims to build an adult-use cannabis industry that offsets the harms that come from the disproportionate impact of cannabis prohibition.
Hochul approved the initiative back in March.
So far 280 families have been licensed to grow cannabis in New York and several dispensary licenses have been distributed to those with previous weed convictions.
The Housing Works Cannabis Co location that will initiate the first sales is located on Broadway near Astor Place.
The dispensary will be open seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.