BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – As of today, there are 3 legal adult use marijuana dispensaries in New York State, and only one of them is not in Manhattan. Just Breathe in Downtown Binghamton is the only dispensary north of the city, and at 3 p.m. the store welcomed its first customers.
Damien Cornwell is the man behind Just Breathe located at 75 Court Street. He said, “It’s not a commodity in the sense that it’s a grab and go, but it’s more of a way of life.”
According to Cornwell, the cannabis industry brings people together in a way that nothing else does. “It integrates with music, integrates with family, integrates with gathering, you know, being peaceful, the whole existence, the whole wave of cannabis is just such a great platform.”
Local and state representatives piled into his storefront this afternoon to officially launch the legal cannabis industry in upstate New York. Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said, “We are righting the wrongs of history in this way.” Lupardo helped lay the groundwork for the retail sale of marijuana in the state.
In 2021, the state passed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which created a new Office of Cannabis Management and incentivizes those who have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition to get first dibs of the exploding new industry.
Lupardo said, “It’s a very thoughtful process, and I have to tell you, there’s going to be some hiccups along the way, but look how far we’ve come.”
The store will be offering ten different types of locally cultivated flower, as well as a wide variety of pre-rolls, edibles, vapes, and even THC seltzers.
Chris Alexander, the Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management, said that the profits from Just Breathe will be funneled right back into New York’s expanding cannabis industry.
“The revenue generated from the sales here will go back to communities. Will help build on the principles that are laid out in the MRTA.”
Just Breathe is owned by On Point Cannabis which is partnership with Cornwell and the Broome County Urban League. Cornwell said that working with a not-for-profit to make tangible change is difficult, so you have to get creative.
“If you can find a way to generate the revenue to do it without impacting your tax base or burdening the community around yourself, you actually can create the funds and revenue you need to make the effectual change.” The festivities concluded with the first official purchase of some blueberry gummies produced by Florists Farms in Cortland.
Once you arrive, a host will check your ID, and from there a budtender will assist you in purchasing product. It will be open Monday through Wednesday from noon to 8, Thursdays and Saturdays noon to 9, and Fridays from noon till 10.