First recreational marijuana store in New York to open Dec. 29, regulators say

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A nonprofit with a mission to end homelessness and AIDS will open New York’s first recreational marijuana store on Dec. 29.

Housing Works will open its doors in Manhattan, the state’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) announced at its Wednesday morning board meeting.

The nonprofit operates bookstores and thrift shops in Brooklyn and Manhattan and also offers community services such as COVID-19 testing, health care, housing, legal help and other assistance programs.

Housing Works did not immediately respond to MJBizDaily requests for comment.

Consider the development a win for New York regulators and Gov. Kathy Hochul, who have insisted for months that the influential market would open by year’s end, even though several rules, requirements and funding mechanisms had yet to be finalized.

An ongoing lawsuit challenging residency requirements has also stymied progress, halting the issuance of dozens of licenses in Brooklyn, Central New York, the Finger Lakes, the mid-Hudson area and Western New York.

New York adult-use retailers are projected to generate $1 billion-$1.2 billion in sales next year, growing to $2.2 billion-$2.7 billion by 2026, according to the 2022 MJBiz Factbook.

Ongoing policy shifts regarding real estate, delivery services and state funding for Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) license holders – New York’s version of social equity – have led several license holders and applicants to adjust business plans in the run-up to adult-use sales.

Meanwhile, BioTrack, a Florida-based subsidiary of Forian, has been chosen by the OCM as New York’s seed-to-sale marijuana tracing software.

All licensed adult-use and medical marijuana licensees in New York are required to integrate their own inventory and/or sale tracking systems with BioTrack.

The software is used in 38 states and 13 countries, according to a news release.