Legal weed has been available in New York for less than two months, and much of the state’s new system is still getting off the ground. The Office of Cannabis Management has yet to issue licenses for stores that will sell and consume cannabis on site, and legal dispensaries have opened in just a few regions.
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But Thursday was a landmark day for one Queens store: Good Grades, on Jamaica Avenue near 162nd Street, became the first legal dispensary in Queens and the city’s first woman-owned business. The shop’s co-owners, Extasy James and Michael James Jr., are the cousins who received the first Queens Astoria Dispensary license issued under the state’s “equity in cannabis” program, which gives priority to those whose lives were disrupted by marijuana prohibition. Their customers on their opening day included Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, who bought gummies and a few pre-rolled joints.
While the cousins hope to provide high-quality cannabis products and a safe experience for customers, they also intend to give back to the community through education and partnering with local nonprofit groups to host giveaways and other events. The cousins also plan to give away free cannabis to any customer who brings a donation for a local charity.
To find a regulated, licensed dispensary near you, check the list on the OCM website and look for a blue and white sign with the Dispensary Verification Tool posted outside. You can also purchase legal weed online and have it delivered to your door from these dispensaries.