First (legal) weed sellers are here – POLITICO – POLITICO

Erin Durkin and Anna Gronewold's must-read briefing informing the daily conversation among knowledgeable New Yorkers
Erin Durkin and Anna Gronewold's must-read briefing informing the daily conversation among knowledgeable New Yorkers
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By signing up you agree to allow POLITICO to collect your user information and use it to better recommend content to you, send you email newsletters or updates from POLITICO, and share insights based on aggregated user information. You further agree to our privacy policy and terms of service. You can unsubscribe at any time and can contact us here. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
By ERIN DURKIN and ANNA GRONEWOLD 

Legal weed is coming, and now we know who’s going to be selling it. The state on Monday approved the first batch of licenses to sell recreational marijuana, aiming to have legal sales kick off by the end of the year.
The Cannabis Control Board voted to approve 36 marijuana vendors — mostly people who have previously been convicted of pot-related crimes, or their family members, in line with New York’s effort to allow those most harmed by the drug war to reap the benefits of the new legal cannabis industry. Eight of the licenses are going to nonprofits, meaning organizations like Housing Works and the Doe Fund will soon have a side hustle as marijuana merchants.
“It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that this is really the first of its kind anywhere,” Jen Metzger, a Cannabis Control Board member, said at the group’s meeting. “We’re truly leading with equity here.”
The state Legislaturevoted to legalize recreational marijuana in the spring of 2021, and possession and smoking pot have been legal since April of that year. Getting legal dispensaries up and running, though, has been a more drawn out process. The licenses just awarded are among 175 the state plans to send out. Officials announced Monday that they will allow new businesses to start with delivery services.
But wait, aren’t there already spots openly selling weed on what seems like every corner? Indeed, the black market has flourished since the state voted to legalize, with little enforcement, and some in the industry fear that will make it hard for the new legal operators to compete.
There’s another hitch, caused by a lawsuit brought by a Michigan company challenging New York’s eligibility requirements. A federal judge temporarily blocked licenses from being issued in five regions. So while the first batch of licenses include 13 dispensaries in the city, representing four boroughs, Brooklyn will have to do without for now.
IT’S TUESDAY. Got tips, suggestions or thoughts? Let us know … By email: [email protected] and [email protected], or on Twitter: @erinmdurkin and @annagronewold
WHERE’S KATHY? Making a hate crimes announcement and packaging food at a food bank.
WHERE’S ERIC? Signing domestic violence legislation, honoring FDNY members, speaking at a Building Trades Employers Association award ceremony, meeting virtually with mayors from Nepal, and speaking at the Queens County Women’s Bar Association.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: We’ll be off for Thanksgiving this Thursday and Friday but back to our normal schedule on Monday, Nov. 28.

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