Stoner Symphony

Two New Legal Cannabis Dispensaries Approved in New York’s Upper East Side

Two more New York cannabis dispensaries have been granted the green light to open their doors as the state continues its battle against illicit stores.

Green Health LLC’s owner Anthony Melchior and Buffalo-based small business owner Deanna Brooks, who have both previously been granted licences to operate from the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), can now move ahead with their plans to open dispensaries on the Upper East Side.

According to Crain’s New York, the pair were given the go-ahead from members of the Community Board 8 Street Life Committee last week.

Now that the dispensaries have been approved, Mr. Melchior is set to open a ‘luxury brand’ cannabis store in a vacant 800-square-foot plot on East 81st Street.

Ms. Brooks, who is a ‘justice involved applicant’ also plans to open a dispensary at 1707 Second Avenue, which is understood to currently be occupied by an incream shop.

The two new additions will join The Upper East Side’s only legal store, The Herbal Care, which opened last month.

It comes amid growing tensions between the OCM and the state’s Governor, Kathy Hochul, who doubled down on her criticism of the regulators rollout of licences last week.

During a budget discussion in Syracuse on Monday (February 5), Ms. Hochul was asked whether the OCM’s leadership should be concerned about their jobs given the continued frustration from stakeholders about the snail’s pace of the licence rollout, which has enabled an illicit market to flourish.

She replied, “I’m not satisfied. I want more enforcement; I want to make sure that we are looking at leadership. I’m looking at opportunities to make major changes.”

Adding that the 14 states’ investors currently tasked with managing the issue were insufficient, Ms. Hochul suggested local law enforcement could be given new powers to shut down unlicensed businesses.


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