Cannabis store opens in Rensselaer as New York slowly starts sales
The Times Union reports that over two years after New York legalized cannabis, just the second Capital Region retail cannabis store opened July 7 in Rensselaer County. The Stage One Dispensary is in the town of Rensselaer on the first floor of a former bank building where the vaults have been kept in their original condition and are being used to store inventory. The store is owned by Nathaniel Innes, Galina German-Innes, Sugey Mirsky, and Joshua Mirsky, who has run a recording studio in Albany for more than a decade. Another cannabis store opens July 8 in Broome County. Gov. Kathy Hochul said, “With these new dispensaries opening in New York, we are providing safer product to New Yorkers, while furthering our ambitious goals for equity in New York’s cannabis laws.” But New York has been criticized for the slow rollout of retail sales, with no stores open yet in Greene, Columbia, Ulster, Albany, or Dutchess counties, and few opened anywhere in the state. Hochul has not yet signed a bill that would allow New York’s more than 200 licensed growers to temporarily sell their crops to tribal nations across the state, because the stores that were supposed to be open are not. Assemblyperson Donna A. Lupardo, a Broome County Democrat who chairs the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee, said, “After months of uncertainty surrounding New York’s adult-use cannabis market rollout, desperation is building amongst the state’s cannabis farmers.... They have been stranded with 250,000 pounds of unsold cannabis products from the 2022 season. The current pace of new retail openings will not resolve this issue, and this product is losing value every day we wait.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.