New York Governor Visits State’s First Legal Marijuana Retailer Outside Manhattan—But Doesn’t Buy Anything
Published February 23, 2023
By Ben Adlin
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New York’s governor visited one of the state’s first legal marijuana stores on Wednesday but left without making a purchase.
“Not today,” Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) told reporters who asked if she planned to buy any cannabis before the visit. “But I’m gonna drop by. I want them to be successful.” Hochul posted a photo and video of her visit to the Just Breathe pot shop in Binghamton to social media, saying she was “proud that New York is building the nation’s most equitable and inclusive cannabis industry.”
The governor recently suggested in an interview that she would open to trying cannabis for the first time, but that will have to wait for another day.
“Despite going to school in the ’70s, it’s nothing I ever partook in,” Hochul told WAMC podcast host Alan Chartock last week, “but I’m not done living yet. So you never know.”
While sales of legal marijuana began in New York in December, few shops have opened so far. Just Breathe is just one of four adult-use dispensaries that are now operational, and it’s the first outside of New York City.
At the same time, unlicensed marijuana retail storefronts have cropped up across the state, particularly in New York City.
“I want people to know that there are other shops that pop up that are not selling legal products,” Hochul said. “There’s a big difference in terms of safety and quality.”
Licensed businesses also support investments in social equity, the governor added.