Statue of Liberty set against the background of green marijuana bushes. gettyThe delay is over! New York’s legal adult-use market will officially launch next week with the opening of the state’s first licensed dispensary. Located in a downtown Manhattan neighborhood commonly known as the East Village, the dispensary will be run by Housing Works, a nonprofit that supports formerly incarcerated New Yorkers, the homeless and people living with HIV/AIDS. Retail sales will commence on December 29, 2022. In a public statement, New York Governor Kathy Hochul affirmed that the state was walking the talk when it comes to making social equity a priority in the market rollout. “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,” she 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 licensing of state dispensaries, such as the one operated by Housing Works, is part of the “Seeding Opportunity Initiative,” which was first announced by Governor Hochul last March. The initiative helps rectify the wrongs affected on those adversely affected by the War on Drugs. On the opening of New York’s first licensed dispensary, Brian Fitzpatrick, chairman & CEO of Qredible Inc, a cloud-based compliance platform for the cannabis industry, applauded the state for setting the standard when it comes to social equity. “This is the most aggressive program I have seen thus far where talk and planning have been put into action to make a direct and meaningful impact on the community with respect to social equity,” he said. “This is what I believe the industry is called to achieve – utilizing the legalization of cannabis as an opportunity to create a safe and compliant environment that contributes to the health and welfare of the community while making an impact on society by helping to reduce the damage that has been done by the War on Drugs. This also places the cannabis program into the legal and regulatory light of day for the state of New York, with its focus on driving safety through the supply chain, starting with the empowerment of 280 family farms to grow compliant and safe cannabis. , the New York State Cannabis Control Board has approved 36 adult-use retail dispensary licenses, which include 28 for qualifying businesses and eight for nonprofits.Check out my website or some of my other work here.