ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – After the first recreational dispensary outside of New York City opened last week, many are eager for pot sales will begin in the Capital Region. According to the Office of Cannabis Management, sales are expected to begin “in the coming weeks”.
“It would’ve been yesterday. If I could start deliveries, if everything worked out in my favor, I’d be open, running now. Everybody wants to get going as fast as possible, but you gotta make sure you have proper protocol and procedure in place before you can,” said Matthew Robinson, the owner of Essential Flowers.
Robinson was one of the first business owners in the Capital Region to receive his CAURD license last November. As he waits guidance on a state-selected storefront, he’s focusing on delivery sales.
“I started focusing on delivering when I was told by some people in the OCM that that was an option that we should really think of pursuing until we can get the buildings up,” he said.
He says selling cannabis has always been his dreams, as he eyes a storefront in his hometown of Albany, “I’m a small guy from Albany, I’m from Downtown Albany, so for me to be open in Albany is major.”
In preparation for the inevitability of legal cannabis sales in the city, Albany has rolled out an ongoing survey to get input from residents, business owners and other members of the community on what the industry should look like.
“Where do we locate dispensaries, what time can they operate until, and really where will they be operating?” said Jasmine Higgins, Chief Equity Officer for the City of Albany.
Right now, Higgins explained, the city’s zoning would primarily only allow dispensaries in the Warehouse District and South End.
“We’ve heard from the community that people would like to see that expanded and make it more in line with general retail, kind of like restaurants and bars, things of that nature,” she said, noting that another main goal of the survey is to get an idea of how tax revenue from marijuana sales will go back into the community.
In terms of timeline of recreational sales in the Capital Region, a spokesperson told News10 ABC, “We expect sales to start in the Capital Region in the coming weeks, pending final requirements including an on-site inspection.”