After years of waiting, recreational marijuana dispensary near me have finally opened in New York City. And unlike the old days of surprise cannabis drug tests, these new NYC stores have a more social mission, donating proceeds to charities or promoting entrepreneurship opportunities to those who have been unjustly affected by marijuana arrests and imprisonment.

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Whether you want to shop for marijuana flowers, edibles or vape products, these legal cannabis stores are worth visiting. And because their prices are often cheaper than traditional smoke shops, they’re a great option for those who have a medical marijuana card or simply love to weed.

The New York State Office of Cannabis Management set strict requirements for who could open the first dispensaries, giving priority to equity-entrepreneurs with prior weed convictions and a history owning and operating small businesses. As a result, only four New York City recreational dispensaries have opened since former Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act into law in March 2021.

One of those legal weed shops is the newly opened Smack Shack in Greenwich Village, which will be operated by Roland Conner, who was previously convicted on marijuana charges and served time in prison. All of the proceeds from this store, which will donate 51 percent of its profits to Housing Works, will go toward the charity’s efforts to support homeless and formerly incarcerated people.

Licensed adult-use recreational marijuana dispensaries have also opened in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan’s Union Square. And in the upstate region, dispensaries have opened in Schenectady and Ithaca.

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