Freeing the plant: East Village shop ushers in the era of legal marijuana sales in New YorkPosted by On

New York City’s very first legal marijuana dispensary was officially christened in the East Village on Dec. 29 with its first sale.

Chris Alexander, the executive director of the state’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) made the first sale, buying $96 of marijuana products at 750 Broadway, a shop opened and operated by Housing Works, a non-profit that fights homelessness and HIV.

The nonprofit’s CEO, Charles King, pledged drug sales will be put back into the organization to help those in need.

“In receiving a license to open a cannabis retail dispensary, and we have formative action policy here, hiring affirmatively people who have been criminalized due to cannabis possession and sale. We intend to provide our folks with training programs to allow them to move up in the cannabis industry and even to obtain licenses on their own. And we intend to use the proceeds from, hopefully what will not just be one retail outlet, but more than one to ameliorate circumstances, or other people who have been incarcerated due to possession of drugs as well as taking on the war on drugs. We live in full decriminalization,” King said.

First purchase at marijuana shop in East Village
The First Cannabis sale is made. Photo by Dean Moses

Equality was thrusted forth as the big talking point of the day, with the formerly incarcerated and those suffering substance abuse issues joining the homeless in receiving financial support from the sales.

Still, the day was also dedicated to members of the Black and Brown community who…

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