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By Caroline Lewis, Published Feb 10, 2023

Lower Manhattan will get its third legal, adult-use cannabis dispensary on Monday — while other parts of the city are still waiting.

 

The shop, cheekily called The Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store, will be located on East 13th Street, between Broadway and University Place. That’s just a few blocks north of the dispensary on East 8th Street and Broadway that the nonprofit Housing Works opened in December — and about a 15 minute walk from Smacked LLC, which opened on Bleecker Street last month.

 

The newest legal dispensary will be operated by a subsidiary of the Doe Fund, a nonprofit that seeks to provide economic opportunity through housing, job training and other services.

 

According its website, the store will sell a range of products including smokable flower, edibles, concentrates and vapes. A pack of gummies with 100 milligrams of THC will range from $32 to $40, while an eighth of an ounce of marijuana will cost between $50 and $60. All legal cannabis sales in New York are subject to a 13% sales tax.

 

“We’re building a cannabis industry here in New York state that is equitable and delivers new resources to nonprofits that bring supportive services to our communities,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement about the shop’s opening on Friday.

 

All of New York’s retail licenses so far have gone either to nonprofits or individuals affected by the war on drugs. State cannabis officials say this is crucial to promoting social equity as they build the new industry, but critics argue that overall progress has been too slow. Unlicensed shops have multiplied since marijuana was legalized in New York in March 2021.

 

Mayor Eric Adams and law enforcement have vowed to crack down on the unlicensed shops that have proliferated in Lower Manhattan and other parts of the city in recent months. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg debuted a new strategy this week when he sent hundreds of letters to the landlords of buildings he claimed are housing stores selling cannabis without a license. In the letters, he urged the building owners to evict their tenants for violating the law.

 

On Friday, the state’s first dispensary outside of the city opened in Binghamton. So far, 66 retail licenses have been issued statewide – including in every borough of New York City except Brooklyn. That’s due to an ongoing lawsuit preventing the state from handing out licenses in certain regions.

 

By Caroline Lewis, Published Feb 10, 2023

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