New York opens its first legal recreational marijuana dispensary – NPR

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Chris Alexander, executive director of the New York State Office of Cannabis Management, shows off the first purchase of cannabis gummies bought at Housing Works — New York’s first legal cannabis dispensary, during a press conference to kick-off its opening on Thursday. Bebeto Matthews/AP

Bebeto Matthews/AP

NEW YORK — The first legal dispensary for recreational marijuana in New York rung up its first sales on Thursday, opening up what is expected to be one of the country’s most lucrative markets for cannabis — underscored by the dozens of unauthorized shops that have operated in the open for years.

The widely anticipated opening of the first state-sanctioned dispensary, which is operated by the nonprofit Housing Works, paves the way for a string of openings expected in the coming months in New York. The state legalized recreational marijuana use in March 2021.

A line of hundreds snaked around the block, many giddy with excitement over the opening. The whiff of marijuana filled the air.

Lino Pastrana was among those waiting his turn after the store opened to the public at

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