The First Official Recreational Cannabis Dispensary in Westchester NY Opens

Elevate Cannabis Dispensary in Mount Vernon opened its doors on Tuesday as the first recreational dispensary in Westchester NY to serve customers after court injunctions halted the opening of recreational dispensaries in New York State. The Westchester County marijuana dispensary is located at 127 S. Terrace Avenue and is open seven days a week offering a variety of adult-use cannabis products from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

They will also offer extended operating hours until 2 a.m. for certain tourist-based occasions and special events. “We are delighted to finally open our doors to the community,” Ruggiero said via a press release. “Elevate is committed to providing safe, first-class cannabis products and rapid delivery services for our customers.” Ruggerio told lohud that he intends to open additional locations and that his stores will work to support causes such as “fighting cancer, combating addiction, and contributing to the development of affordable housing in the region.”

Elevate was among a batch of a dozen new recreational dispensaries in New York to open this week following legal disputes that halted their opening for several months. The lawsuits challenged the state’s social equity licensing program that prioritizes retail licenses for those who were convicted on marijuana-related charges or were directly impacted by efforts to outlaw marijuana and punish its users or proprietors, such as relatives of convicts.

The settlement paves the way for an estimated 436 license holders to continue with their plans to open their businesses, according to The New York Times. While the lawsuits were in progress, the State created a new licensing period where 1,000 additional licenses would be open to applicants who didn’t qualify for the initial round of licensing. It’s expected that at least 40 recreational marijuana dispensaries in New York will be open for business by the end of 2023.

“What’s particularly heartening is not just seeing these stores open, but seeing who is operating them. Before the end of the year, we will have 12 Black-owned dispensaries operating and 5 Hispanic-owned dispensaries. Considering the national landscape, where Black and brown ownership of cannabis is exceedingly rare, I am incredibly proud of this result. This isn’t just about numbers; it’s a clear indication of our dedication to creating a more equitable and inclusive cannabis industry,” New York State Office of Cannabis Management Executive Director Chris Alexander said in a press release.

About 20 percent of recreational cannabis dispensaries in New York are majority Black-owned while that number goes down to less than 0.2 percent when calculating all U.S. dispensaries.

Elevate Cannabis Dispensary in Mount Vernon won’t be the last recreational dispensary in Westchester NY. You’ll likely see more popping up soon as the following cities have voted to allow the sale of cannabis, according to the Yonkers Times as of April 1, 2023:

  • Mount Vernon
  • New Rochelle
  • Pound Ridge
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • White Plains

Check back here to see a list of open recreational dispensaries in Westchester NY.

The following Westchester County has passed laws preventing the sale of cannabis as of April 1, 2023:

  • Ardsley
  • Dobbs Ferry
  • Eastchester
  • Elmsford
  • Harrison
  • Irvington
  • Larchmont
  • Lewisboro
  • Mamaroneck Town
  • Mamaroneck Village
  • Mount Kisco
  • Mount Pleasant
  • New Castle
  • North Castle
  • North Salem
  • Pelham Manor
  • Pleasantville
  • Port Chester
  • Rye City
  • Rye Brook
  • Somers
  • Tuckahoe
  • Yorktown

*Updated from an article published in July 2023

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