Legal marijuana retail is just around the corner

Good morning It is Tuesday. We will look at the first cannabis licenses issued in New York State. We will also take a look at how to choose the days for the gridlock alert, because today is one.

In the end the numbers were 903, 28, 8 and 282.

It’s not a football game. There were 903 applicants for licenses for the first recreational marijuana retail stores in upstate New York. On Monday, 28 licenses went to entrepreneurs and eight to non-profit organizations. And regulators released 282 pages of proposed fees and time limits that would, among other things, allow the state’s existing medicinal cannabis providers to enter the recreational market.

The licenses were issued by the State Cannabis Control Board. My colleague Ashley Southall writes that the action has shut down a seed-to-sale supply chain and is expected to result in legal retail marijuana sales by the end of the year, although a Michigan company is challenging some of New York’s licensing requirements — including one, which states that applicants must have been convicted of a cannabis offense in New York State. This provision was intended to help open legal cannabis opportunities to people in communities targeted during the War on Drugs.

Tremaine Wright, the chair of the board, called Monday’s vote “a monumental moment.”

“Not long ago, the idea of ​​legalizing cannabis in New York seemed incredible,” she said. “Now we’ve not only legalized, we’re building a legal market for adult use with a stock-centric approach.”

The Office of Cannabis Management, which develops regulations under the agency’s oversight, said most of the licenses went to people in New York City and Long Island. Agency spokesman Freeman Klopott said 20 of the recipients were from areas with some of the lowest median household incomes in the country.

Among them were Naiomy Guerrero, 31, and her father and older brother, Hector. She said Hector was arrested multiple times for possession of marijuana during the Stop and Frisk era, a program that led to unwarranted pedestrian stops and searches in predominantly Black and Hispanic neighborhoods like Morris Heights in the Bronx, where the Guerrero siblings grew up. A federal judge ruled in 2013 that such tactics were racially discriminatory and unconstitutional.

“Doing this for my family, moving this forward, is my life’s work,” she said. “If the true goal of cannabis in New York is to be fair, then who better than us? Because we suffered from the War on Drugs. We come from the most heavily policed ​​neighborhoods in the Bronx.”

The licenses went to at least three New York City-based nonprofits: Housing Works, the Doe Fund, and LIFE Camp, a 20-year-old nonprofit whose original purpose was to help reduce violence and arrests in southeast Queens. It is believed to be the first non-profit organization run by a black woman to receive a license.

The 36 licensees now have to provide additional information about their finances and business partners. Once regulators verify this information, they can begin deliveries from locations of their choice, a postponement regulators announced Monday said would allow operators to “generate capital and scale their operations.”

However, this change suggests the state may struggle to provide storefronts and credit to license holders as planned. The State Dormitory Authority, the agency leading the leasing and design process for the storefronts, said in a statement that with licensee selection and “an existing delivery model,” it can now “proceed with finalizing leases and financing without.” to delay the sale”.


Expect a sunny day with temperatures in the high 40’s and a clear evening with temperatures in the high 30’s.


Valid until Thursday (Thanksgiving).

Anne Marie Doherty has given much thought to today and tomorrow, two of the 19 Traffic Congestion Alert Days the city is initiating to halt midtown Manhattan’s busy traffic on the days it expects to.

As senior director for research, implementation, and safety for the Department of Transportation, Doherty is the boss. If people are mindful of their choices, the streets may not be deserted, but they will be a little less impassable than they otherwise would have been. When people disregard them, fuhgeddaboudit, to use a dictionary word.

Gridlock warning days were invented to discourage motorists from driving in Midtown when traffic jams are likely — for example, Rockefeller Center’s tree-lighting day (November 30 of this year). They’ve been a part of New York City life for more than 30 years, long enough to make you wonder if they’re useful or useless.

“Issuing a special warning for traffic congestion in New York City — where the term ‘gridlock’ was invented — is like issuing a cold-weather warning at the North Pole,” the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a political group, explained in a 2015 post on its website , who announced that in New York every day was a gridlock alert day. It added that “traffic in the five precincts is nothing new”.

Doherty knows this, but says days with traffic congestion warnings make a difference. For the week of alert days during the United Nations General Assembly in September, she said traffic on the East River crossings was down 4 to 5 percent. She also knows that midtown traffic slows down on congestion alert days. But the creep might be even slower.

“The purpose of this is when we know there are attractions for people to go into town to discourage them,” she said. “To avoid driving in.”

She said the figures suggest this has been the case on traffic congestion warning days over the years. In 1991, about 1.6 million vehicles rolled into Manhattan on a gridlocked day — about 500,000 more than on a comparable day in 2019 before the pandemic.

Doherty chooses the days when he doesn’t experience stillness behind the wheel. She takes the express bus from Dyker Heights, Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan to work.

“I never dream of ever going into town,” she said. “It’s bullshit.”

In December 2020, the Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village was destroyed by a five alarm fire. The bell in its tower that heralded the birth of the nation in 1776 was saved. Tiffany’s stained glass windows were not. The rocky granite walls were all that remained of the church. The Church says they are unstable.

Today, the city’s historic preservation commission will hear testimony about the church’s motion to demolish it — a motion some preservationists oppose. “We do not believe that there is sufficient evidence that alternatives to preserving the historic facade have been fully explored,” the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation said on its website, “nor that there is currently sufficient evidence to establish the permanent and irreversible Distance.”

Theodore Grunwald, a preservationist who lives a few blocks from the church, called it “a distinct architectural presence.”

“And that distinct architectural presence can endure, as every other fire-ravaged community has,” he said. “These outer walls cannot be duplicated, and once they’re gone, they’re gone.”

The Church’s senior minister, Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis said the church spent $4.2 million, about a fifth of the insurance payments it received after the fire, to study whether the remains of the facade were robust enough to be incorporated into a new building. “Our experts say that’s not the case,” she said, “so it’s not appropriate to keep it.”

“We want to rebuild on our historic site,” she said, adding that “no developer is raring to go” with a plan for the site. She said the church could no longer spend time and money investigating how to save the facade and that the Landmarks Commission “holds our future in its hands.”


Dear Diary:

My girlfriend and I were having a cocktail at a restaurant in my East Side neighborhood when a woman I had briefly dated walked in and spotted me.