Greenwich Village is about to get more green.
New York’s second-state licensed cannabis shop will open next Tuesday on Bleecker Street in the Village, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced.
Smack LLC will be the first weed dispensary run by an owner with a prior marijuana conviction, Roland Conner. It will be located at 144 Bleecker and its soft rollout of joints will begin at 10 a.m.
“I am so excited to become a part of history as the first individual to open a legal cannabis dispensary in New York City. Given my experience with cannabis, I never could have imagined that I would be opening a store like this,” Conner said.
The state’s first licensed pot store that opened last month on Broadway, also in Greenwich Village, is run by the not-for-profit social services group Housing Works.
Prior to receiving a cannabis license, Conner owned and operated property management businesses in the city for 15 years and currently manages a transitional housing facility providing shelter for two dozen men in The Bronx.
Conner, who will run the cannabis dispensary with his son and wife, received support from the Bronx Cannabis Hub — founded by the Bronx Defenders and the Bronx Community Foundation that support individuals applying for the first round of pot licenses.
Under the state’s law legalizing cannabis law, merchants previously convicted for marijuana possession get first dibs at running a pot shop.
“This dispensary is the latest example of our efforts to build the most equitable and inclusive cannabis industry in the nation,” Hochul said.
“As we continue to work toward righting wrongs of the past, I look forward to new dispensaries – owned by those most impacted by the over-policing of cannabis prohibition – opening soon.”
A huge unregulated black market has sprouted during the state’s slow rollout of its licensed cannabis program. City Sheriff Anthony Miranda said Wednesday that 1,400 smoke shops are illegally selling marijuana or other products without a license to do so throughout the five boroughs.
Miranda said law enforcement authorities have limited capacity under the law to immediately close illicit shops.
But a prominent state lawmaker said talks are underway with Hochul’s office to craft a tougher law that will enable authorities to crack down on illegal cannabis operators that don’t levy taxes on sales to customers, depriving the state of revenues and while undermining the market for licensed operators to make a profit.
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