SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Mar. 31, 2023 marks two years since the cannabis law was passed in New York State, which paved the way for legal dispensaries to open.

Owner of Upstate Canna Co., Donald Andrews, was one of the first in the state to get a conditional adult-use retail dispensary license. It was a packed house with supporters and state officials for the store’s soft opening; giving just a glimpse at what the future of legal cannabis looks like here in the Capital Region. 

Andrews began the process to opening a dispensary last year and he one of four local business owners to receive that license. Those first licenses were primarily given to business owners with prior marijuana related convictions and Andrews said that’s been a part of his journey to opening this business.

“We are looking forward to open our doors tomorrow and be able to provide something that’s been long awaited in our community which is a lab tested, cannabis product grown in New York,” Andrews said.

 Representatives from the Office of Cannabis Management were also present at today’s soft opening, noting the anniversary of legalizing marijuana and economic opportunities that are now available. 

“We are going to create thousands of entrepreneurs, tens of thousands of new jobs across the state related to the cannabis field and I’m just super excited to be leading this effort,” Chris Alexander, Executive Director, Office of Cannabis Management, said.

The grand opening is April 1 at 11:00 a.m.