Two new cannabis dispensaries opened in the Capital Region within 24 hours this week. This comes after a judge approved settlements in two lawsuits challenging New York's Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary program last week, lifting the court order barring new dispensaries from opening.
“It’s a good time for the city, it’s a good time for our families and we hope to be a successful business for the community,” said Pasha Adams, owner of Capital District Cannabis and Wellness Incorporated.
Adams told Spectrum News 1 there is only one word to describe how he is feeling as his store opened for the very first time: elated.
He says he decided to open a cannabis business after researching the benefits of the plant with partners, and deciding to give it a go.
The process though was held up by that lawsuit. He says while frustrating, he took the experience of being one of the businesses who was on the cusp of opening but forced to wait, in stride.
“It teaches you, even at my age, to trust the process and trust your team and hopefully everything will work itself out,” he said.
Tremaine Wright, the chairperson of the New York State Cannabis Control Board, stressed the importance of putting the litigation in the rearview and moving New York’s cannabis industry forward.
“It was an unnecessary delay in the progress of cannabis in New York state,” she said. “We are so thankful that it now has ended and we have come to a settlement.”
She says with the lawsuit settled, and a recent widening of the pool of applicants, the industry offers New Yorkers opportunity.
“There is room for everyone, for all business types and we have a multitude of licensing opportunities,” she said.
Adams says he hopes the store can bring business activity to the city of Albany while also being beneficial to customers.
“Let’s take a leap of faith and see if we can take some of the things that we found out that was helpful with the plant and show people and educate them on how the plant can be beneficial,” he said.
The other dispensary was The 420 Bliss shop in Troy, owned by entrepreneurs Al Attoh, Gregg Little and Renee Lindo.
Officials with the Office of Cannabis Management also told us they expect there to be a significant expansion of the industry and the number of new shops opening over the next year.