Other NY dispensaries will open soon into the new year
GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Long lines formed front of New York's first legal weed dispensary right in the heart of New York City.
The first sales of legal cannabis was at Housing Works' new dispensary in Greenwich Village -- at 4:20 p.m. on Thursday.
The Housing Works Cannabis Company is a new arm of the nonprofit that started as a resource for people diagnosed with HIV and AIDS.
The first official sale took place at 11:45 a.m. Thursday morning, following a press conference attended by the Office of Cannabis Management Executive Director Chris Alexander.
"I want to be part of history I like the idea of regulated weed," Kenneth Woodin said after waiting in line for four hours.
First, New York decriminalized weed, then it legalized it. But many people believe the repairs are not done yet.
By involving nonprofit organizations like Housing Works in the selling of weed and local farmers in production, the state hopes to make the industry as equitable as possible.
Regardless of equity, it is clear that the sale of legal cannabis in the state of New York will be a success.
"It's extremely exciting and nerve-wracking because we are cutting it close," Housing Works Cannabis Company employee Sasha Nutgent said. "But we're getting it open on time."
And the demand was high for their grand opening.
"We have an RSVP list that will not stop growing," Nutgent said.
The dispensary is located at 750 Broadway. Moving forward, Housing Works Cannabis Co.'s hours will be from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily.
"This is the social equity we hope for and look for we still need other components and hope not to be squeezed out some people don't have capitol or properties," customer Angel Bustcell said.
All proceeds from the dispensary sales will go to the parent organization, which was founded in 1990 to help individuals diagnosed with HIV and AIDS.
If you plan to purchase at Housing Works Cannabis Co. in the coming days, they are currently a cash-only business.
So far, the New York State Cannabis Control Board has approved 36 additional conditional adult-use retail dispensary licenses. In the coming months, the state is expected to issue 139 more.
To help more businesses get their storefronts up and running, the state released guidance earlier this month to allow licensed vendors to deliver marijuana by bikes and scooters.
Even though recreational weed was legalized in the state back in 2021, legal sales have not been allowed until now. Illegal sellers have been in operation for many months around the city and across the state.
What you should know before purchasing legal weed in NY:
"A lot of people don't realize the illegal smoke shops are drivers of crime also," Mayor Eric Adams said. "We've had a series of people who have been targeting these illegal smoke shops that are sprouting up all over our city. And we think the legal cannabis industry is going to balance out the illegal. And then our coordination, we are going to zero in on them to make sure they don't sprout up all over the city."
Housing Works Cannabis Co. has already received several thousand RSVPs ahead of public sales.
The dispensary with sell 100 different products from six brands, all grown locally in New York state.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.