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First adult-use cannabis dispensary opens in Ithaca

Mar 22, 2023 at 11:57 pm by Observer-Review

First adult-use cannabis dispensary opens in Ithaca ADVERTISEMENT

First adult-use cannabis dispensary opens in Ithaca

ITHACA--Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the first Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary license in Upstate New York State owned by an entrepreneur previously criminalized by cannabis prohibition opened for sales to the public at 4:20 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, on East State Street in Ithaca.
"With the opening of William Jane in Ithaca, we're continuing to build an adult-use cannabis industry in our state that works to offset the harms caused by disproportionate arrests made during cannabis prohibition," Hochul said. "As more dispensaries like this open across New York state, consumers now have the option to buy legal, safer products while also reinvesting in their communities."
The Ithaca dispensary, called William Jane, is owned and operated by William Durham. A Brooklyn native who has spent most of his life in Binghamton, Durham is stepping into New York's cannabis market with a variety of experience in retail, construction, and property investment.
The location is supported by the New York State Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund and will open as a "pop-up." As with some other initial dispensaries to be supported by the fund, this will provide licensees the opportunity to open on a short-term basis to fast-track sales and start generating capital for their businesses, after which they will close for final construction and then re-open on a long-term basis.
The pop-up program is designed to give the operator initial training opportunities before opening full-time. Distributors and retail operators work from there to provide for consumers who are seeking access to safer products.
Due to the lapse of New York's decriminalization of marijuana significantly before the regulations were put in place to have legal dispensaries, illegal sticker shops selling pot as a gift, have proliferated. Officials have cited their frustration with the issue, and have performed several raids on the properties, only to have them back open the next day in many cases. The state has said sticker shops are illegal and asked that they close.
This dispensary in Ithaca marks the first legal option in the region to buy marijuana.
William Jane owner William Durham said, "I'm excited to be one of the first cannabis businesses opening in upstate New York. I never imagined I'd be able to start a business like this, and I'm grateful to New York state for creating this opportunity to grow a business here. This is a blessing that will help me create opportunities for others in the future."
Ithaca Mayor Laura Lewis said, "Thank you for working with our community on this first licensed dispensary in the City of Ithaca. We are excited to be among the early adopters of this new driver for equitable economic development. We also appreciate the commitment of New York state to promote an inclusive approach to the regulated cannabis industry and to ensure the safety of consumers and the opportunity for local business owners."
The Ithaca location is part of the program authorized by Gov. Hochul and the New York state Legislature and sponsored by the fund to support the acquisition, design, construction, and outfitting of locations for cannabis dispensaries to be operated by licensees. Working with Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) subsidiary, the Social Equity Servicing Corporation (SESC), the fund is a public-private limited partnership formed to position social equity entrepreneurs to succeed in New York's newly created adult use cannabis industry. Managed by Social Equity Impact Ventures, the fund will help justice involved individual licensees meet the costs of establishing adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries. It is supported by up to $50 million in licensing fees and revenue from the adult-use cannabis industry and up to $150 million from the private sector.
Eligible applicants are those who either had a cannabis conviction themselves or a close family member of someone who does, own, or has owned a business that had a net profit for at least two years. Nonprofits were eligible for CAURD licenses if they have a history of serving current or formerly incarcerated individuals, including creating vocational opportunities for them; have at least one justice-involved board member; at least five full-time employees; and have operated a social enterprise that had net assets or profit for at least two years.
Tompkins County Legislature Chairwoman Shawna M. Black added, "Tompkins County has been patiently waiting for the announcement of our first adult-use retail cannabis dispensary."






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