Cannabis sales figures released on Monday show that the dispensary run by the nonprofit Housing Works exceeded its revenue expectations for the first six months. But it’s unclear whether other early licensees who have struggled with New York state’s slow rollout of the retail industry will be able to replicate this success.
The state’s cannabis program has prioritized granting licenses to nonprofits like Housing Works as well as people whose lives were affected by prohibition. In late December, when Housing Works opened New York’s first legal recreational marijuana dispensary in the East Village, a line stretched around the block, and it sparked a flurry of local news coverage. But the initial hype was not a guarantee of sustained sales — especially given how many unlicensed dispensaries were selling untaxed weed nearby.
The Housing Works shop sold $12 million worth of edibles, flower and other marijuana products in its first six months, averaging $2 million a month. That’s twice the monthly revenue the nonprofit was projecting when it launched, according to Matthew Bernardo, president of Housing Works, which provides health care, housing and social services.
“We were very pleased and it was really successful from day one,” Bernardo said. The dispensary did about $40,000