Second adult-use cannabis store to open in New York

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A second licensed adult-use cannabis retailer is set to open in New York.

Smacked, located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood in Manhattan, will have a soft launch Wednesday for members of the media and will open to the general public later this week, Gothamist reported.

Smacked is opening under New York’s social equity program, as a Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) license holder, according to the news outlet.

The New York regulated market, which has the potential to hit $1 billion in retail sales this year, according to the 2022 MJBiz Factbook, has stumbled out of the gate.

Despite predictions by Gov. Kathy Hochul and state regulators that the market was “on track” to open 20 adult-use stores in 2022, with another 20 retail outlets per month coming online, only one recreational outlet has opened.

And in a surprise to many market watchers, it was a nonprofit.

Housing Works Cannabis Co., a subsidiary of Housing Works, opened Dec. 29 with hundreds of consumers wrapping around buildings in lower Manhattan eagerly waiting to buy cannabis products.

The state issued the first 36 retail licenses only in November.

The market’s retail potential in the early going has been stymied by several factors, including:

  • An ongoing lawsuit challenging residency requirements that’s halted the issuance of dozens of licenses.
  • Policy shifts regarding real estate, delivery services and state funding for CAURD license holders, which led several license holders and applicants to adjust business plans in the run-up to adult-use sales.
  • A flourishing illicit cannabis market that’s gone largely unchecked for years.