New York

New York celebrates first 4/20 at recreational cannabis dispensaries

new york — Officials are celebrating “4/20,” an international counterculture holiday commonly known as “Weed Day.” marijuana Enthusiasts who buy legally.

That’s because the slow deployment of state pharmacies has created a thriving black market.

read more: New York State Police Crack Down on Drivers with Disabilities ‘4/20’

Stopping the count at four was fitting, as Mike Jellaci cut the ribbon for his new cannabis processing plant in Queens.”

“It’s important that we all come together and work together to successfully promote cannabis in New York State,” Geraci said Thursday.

read more: New York City’s fifth licensed cannabis dispensary opens in Union Square

Geraci’s company, All In One Extracting & Product Manufacturing, was the first licensed adult-use cannabis processor in the state. They sell flowers as well as edible gummies, chocolates and pre-rolled smokes. You can also press marijuana buds into the wax and vape.

All this happens because the legal market is undermined by a huge illegal market.

With New York’s cautious rollout, some say it’s painfully slow, illegal stores are popping up like weeds all over the city.

“My understanding is that there are about 1,700 illegal ones,” said Manhattan Alderman Gail Brewer.

read more: Many say open marijuana use is socially acceptable

Brewer has led the fight to close down illegal stores, but is particularly concerned about stores that have opened near schools and entice students to drink before class.

“Some stores are too close to high schools and some are too close to elementary schools. Liquor stores are absolutely not allowed in this area,” Brewer said.

read more: Gov. Kathy Hochul Proposes New Enforcement Plan to Eliminate Illegal Marijuana Shops in New York

And now that it’s 4/20, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a massive advertising campaign urging New Yorkers to “buy legally.”

“Our harvest will help build an inclusive economy and a fair cannabis industry,” the ad said.

mayor of queens Donovan Richards Chris Alexander, Executive Director of the State Cannabis Authority, was present at the opening of the Jerac processing plant.

“Some say states were slow to roll out programs and issue licenses, resulting in a booming illegal market. Do you think it was too late?” Marsha of CBS2 Kramer asked.

“Yeah, you know, it’s clearly New York and nothing is fast enough, but what we’ve done in 18 months doesn’t come close to any state,” Alexander said.

“We focus on quality over quantity,” added Richards.

And with the opening of the new factory, it might be fair to call my lips “weed.”

CBS2 spoke with John Kagia, Director of Policy at the Cannabis Control Authority, about this year’s changes and campaigns.

click here For more information, see the full interview above. New York celebrates first 4/20 at recreational cannabis dispensaries

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