It’s been about two months since New York State issued the first batch of marijuana licenses in the state, and licensees are now taking steps from learning how to run a legal pharmacy and finding places, to completing insurance plans and preparing for opening in the coming weeks.
Matt Robinson hopes to launch his cannabis delivery service in Albany later this month, and a new retailer, Smacked LLC, will open next week, becoming the second retail pharmacy in the state. Doe Fund, a nonprofit store, plans to open its New York location in mid-February, making it the second nonprofit to enter the market after Housing Works.
And cannabis tech company Dutchie is busy running training sessions for these licensees all over New York.
On November 21, Robinson received his initial adult conditional retail dispensary approval for Essential Flowers, a dispensary he intends to open in Albany. But he’s starting with shipping and hopes to get it up and running in the next couple of weeks.
He predicts that he will start earning between $100,000 and $500,000 a week from deliveries, with a margin of about 5%.
Having already set up banking and insurance, Robinson said he is in the process of completing a workers’ compensation insurance, a delivery vehicle deal and for the Cannabis Management Authority to approve the facility he secured for the business.
He intends to immediately hire 15 part-time couriers and increase the number of employees in the company. Robinson added that CAURD licensees would benefit from doing what they can without government help.
“I want to meet every regulatory requirement that I can,” Robinson said. “You want to spare these people some of the work they have to do; OCM has done a lot of work in a short amount of time.”
Doe Fund is taking a different approach, focusing on a brick-and-mortar pharmacy at the forefront, with a plan to add a delivery service later, according to lawyer Stew Zakim, who represents the Foundation’s operations.
The nonprofit is planning a smooth launch of its store, which will be called Union Square Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store, at 62 East 13th St. February 13th in Manhattan. The store will be open from 10:00 to 22:00 from Sunday to Thursday. , and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, according to The Doe Fund. This summer, they plan to open a 5,000-square-foot store on Broadway and 13th Street in Manhattan.
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Union Square travel agency plans to hire 50 people before the store opens in February and has received about 500 resumes, Zakim said.
Smacked LLC, owned by CAURD licensee Roland Connor, will hold a grand opening at 144 Bleecker Street in Manhattan next week. Smacked opens Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. in a pop-up store and will be New York City’s first legal adult dispensary run by a person involved in justice.
Smacked will run as a pop-up until Feb. 20, according to a statement from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office announcing the store’s planned reopening.
The 28 CAURD licensees appear to be in various stages of planning their businesses, with some nearly ready to open and others still figuring out where they are, said Ann Forkutsa, head of market expansion and industry relations at Dutchie.
Earlier this month, Dutchie, which the government has selected to provide Point of Sale (POS) devices for CAURD outlets, hosted training sessions in New York for licensees. Forkutza said the event was attended by more than 20 people (as opposed to non-profit licensees) and the sessions included compliance training, use of Dutchie’s POS technology and other topics.
“Everyone is very excited,” she said. “We want to have this training throughout New York State.”