In December, the state announced it had signed the first lease for a legal marijuana dispensary at a vacant storefront on 125th Street in Harlem.
In keeping with the program’s social equity goals, the idea was to build out the dispensary and turn the keys over to one of the state’s first licensed operators — individuals who were impacted by a past marijuana conviction.
The problem was, the community didn’t get the message. And two months later, the project appears to be mired in uncertainty.
What You Need To Know
- In December, the state announced it had signed the first lease for a legal marijuana dispensary at a vacant storefront on 125th Street in Harlem
- The plan was met with a fierce backlash from elected officials and community leaders who said they were not consulted
- Opponents fear the dispensary could exacerbate existing quality of life issues on 125th Street including drug use and crime
- While the dispensary’s rollout appears to be on pause, state officials say they’re working to identify a licensed operator
“I do not believe that they would go into any other community and choose a site without having a dialogue with the local electeds,” said Harlem state Assemblymember Inez Dickens, who is now running for City Council. “It wouldn’t be allowed, and we’re not going to allow that here.”
The planned dispensary is across the street from the historic Apollo Theater, on a busy stretch of 125th Street that has been plagued with quality of…
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