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Governor Hochul Announces Opening of Adult-Use Cannabis Dispensary in Ithaca

Updated: Mar 17

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Justice-Impacted Licensee to Open Newest Cannabis Dispensary Outside of New York City Ithaca Dispensary Supported by the Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the first Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary license in Upstate New York State owned by an entrepreneur previously criminalized by cannabis prohibition will open for sales to the public at 4:20 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, at 119-121 East State Street in Ithaca.

"With the opening of William Jane in Ithaca, we're continuing to build an adult-use cannabis industry in our state that works to offset the harms caused by disproportionate arrests made during cannabis prohibition," Governor Hochul said. "As more dispensaries like this open across New York State, consumers now have the option to buy legal, safer products while also reinvesting in their communities."

The Ithaca dispensary, called William Jane, will be owned and operated by William Durham. A Brooklyn native who has spent most of his life in Binghamton, Mr. Durham is stepping into New York's cannabis market with a variety of experience in retail, construction, and property investment.

The location is supported by the New York State Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund and will open as "pop-up." As with some other initial dispensaries to be supported by the Fund, this will provide licensees the opportunity to open on a short-term basis to fast-track sales and start generating capital for their businesses, after which they will close for final construction and then re-open on a long-term basis.

The pop-up program is designed to give the operator initial training opportunities before opening full-time. It will benefit all businesses involved in the cannabis supply chain, from farmers who have cannabis ready for distribution, to processors who are making cannabis into other types of products. Distributors and retail operators work from there to provide for consumers who are seeking access to safer products they can trust. The dispensary opening helps advance New York's goals of equity in cannabis licensing that prioritizes providing licenses to justice-impacted individuals, who are people with a cannabis conviction or a close relative of someone with one.<