New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the first legal recreational cannabis dispensary will open on December 29.

Minority-controlled Manhattan nonprofit Housing Works, which services people with HIV and AIDS, will be the first of 36 recently licensed dispensaries to start selling to the general public.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul

The move comes after the state’s Cannabis Control Board issued the first round of licences last month.

Hochul said: “The industry will continue to grow from here, creating inclusive opportunity in every corner of New York State with revenues directed to our schools and revitalising communities.”

New York legalised recreational use in March 2021.

Meanwhile, there was bad news for cannabis firms at the federal level after the The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was dropped from a US$1.7 trillion year-end spending package by Congress.

Several attempts have been made to pass the bipartisan bill, which would unlock the US financial system for cannabis companies.

The move to include it in the spending package failed after Republican Senate minority Leader Mitch McConnell objected, although there are still hopes it will eventually pass with the party’s support.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...

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