1st Marijuana Store in Upstate NY To Open in The Capital Region!
The first legal cannabis store in upstate New York is about to open in Schenectady, where sales are set to begin next month. The dream of Don Andrews, 34, to own a marijuana dispensary has long existed. His Upstate CBD store first launched on Union Street in the Electric City in 2019, and it will soon change its name to Upstate Canna Co. to serve recreational cannabis users.
I adore cannabis because it has greatly benefited a lot of individuals I know, including myself in a variety of ways, said Andrews. The Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act (MRTA), which was enacted on March 31, 2021, made marijuana use for recreational purposes legal in New York for anyone who is 21 years of age and older.
The native of Schenectady, Andrews, is putting the closing touches on his dream business that will offer cannabis flowers, edibles, and other goods. He stated on Friday, “It truly feels amazing to be, you know, part of the cannabis market—the legal cannabis industry. “I’m eager to, you know, carry on with the process.”
People with prior marijuana-related convictions and expertise in owning and operating a business in the state were given preference when applying for Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary licenses by the state Office of Cannabis Management.
Andrews earned his restricted license in November despite having a history of drug convictions from his adolescence and early 20s. According to OCM, during the past three decades, black New Yorkers have had arrested for marijuana 15 times more frequently than white New Yorkers and 8 times more frequently than Latinos.
To leap into the legal industry before MSOs and large corporations, Andrews stated, “They did a tremendous job clearing the road for individuals like myself and small business owners.” In addition to VapedCity Smokeshop in Scotia and a CBD outlet in Glenville, Andrews also owns two other businesses in Schenectady County.
In the Capital Region, three dispensaries, including two more in Albany, are scheduled to open in the upcoming months. When it starts selling recreational marijuana, Andrews’ store will provide delivery in addition to in-person purchasing or pick-up. The delivery recipients will need to be verified twice, warns Ryan McCall, a cannabis law expert at Tully Rinckey.
He explained, “Really, it’s just a matter of making sure that you’re delivering to the proper people, right, making sure that the folks who are paying are the individuals who are picking up. “…The state has been introducing regulations that have clarified things a little bit, but there are always those last-minute things to make sure.
Everyone is eager to talk, and they are all prepared to do so, but we just want to make sure we’re going about it correctly. To place a purchase, customers must attach photographs of their driver’s license or another kind of official identity. Andrews claims that the Capital Region and upstate regions will be the source of his marijuana strains and other products.
While introducing equity to a new industry, he is eager to inform and assist customers in his community. ‘I want to make sure that local tax stays right here in the city of Schenectady where I’m from,’ he declared. “I want to give back to the area where I was raised and from.
“…that’s what we’re here for To get folks that education, a proper education, knowing they can come here and purchase a secure, lab-tested product and they wouldn’t have any fear about any harmful substances that are in it,” Andrews continued.
60 provisional licenses for dispensaries in the state, 15 of which are upstate, have already been approved by the state Office of Cannabis Management. Two are waiting for their licenses to be completed after submitting additional insurance and a thorough business plan to OCM.
The injunction imposed as part of a federal lawsuit last fall has resulted in the continued suspension of retail dispensary licenses in the Finger Lakes, Central New York, Western New York, the Mid-Hudson region, and Brooklyn.
The state filed an appeal against the judgment and the decision to restrict the suspension to the Finger Lakes, but it is still awaiting word from a higher court. Just before the new year, New York City saw the start of the first legally permitted recreational marijuana sales in the state.