UNION SQUARE, Manhattan (PIX11) — If it seems like there’s a cannabis shop everywhere you look, it’s likely because there are so many — one every seven blocks on average, throughout the five boroughs of New York City.
Because almost all of them are illegal in New York State, some of the few legal shops are welcoming a regulatory change that allows longstanding legal medical marijuana shops to expand into recreational cannabis sales.
The change comes exactly a year after recreational marijuana became legal in New York State. It also coincides with the end of the first holiday season ever in which recreational cannabis has been legal.
At Union Square Travel Agency, a high-end recreational cannabis retailer, on Tuesday, Mike Conway, the company’s vice president of retail, spoke about the new change and its effect on his company’s business.
“While, of course, more competition takes some market share, [and] takes some customers potentially,” he said, “I think we have a great shop, so I’m not too worried. It’s good to have more access to safe cannabis out there.”
The new move, approved last Friday by the New York Office of Cannabis Management, allows six medical marijuana dispensaries to begin selling cannabis for recreational use.
The dispensaries are all owned by large national cannabis companies.
There are six of them, four based in New York: Columbia Care, Curaleaf, NYCanna, and PharmaCann.