First Black-owned marijuana store opens in NYC
STORY: This is a historic purchase in New York City… at the first Black-owned marijuana store.
Owner Darius Conner is making his very first sale to his dad, Roland - another owner of Smacked LLC.
"Man, it's a long time coming. It's really a long time coming and it's a beautiful thing…”
Smacked opened its doors on Tuesday - more than a year after New York state legalized the drug.
Lawmakers had promised the first licenses would be awarded to entrepreneurs with prior marijuana-related arrests or convictions - in hopes of giving them a head start against corporate competitors.
Roland Conner is one of them - now with the second licensed shop in the city.
"Everybody deserves a second chance. We don't have to be stigmatized because we did some mistakes in the past. It's an opportunity to right those wrongs, those draconian drug laws from the past.”
During the slower-than-expected rollout, a gray market flourished, with unlicensed retailers selling cannabis from stores and vans.
City Mayor Eric Adams has said that won’t be tolerated.
The first recreational dispensary opened last month - the non-profit Housing Works.
In New York, marijuana can only be sold to adults over 21 and it must be grown by licensed producers.
The state has joined 20 others to legalize marijuana.
Sales will be taxed at 13.5 percent… revenue that will be kicked back into schools, public housing, and services for addiction and mental health.
Smacked customers say they feel like they're part of history in the making.
"I feel like it's a really big deal and we need to come out to support, because we've been negatively impacted by the criminalization."
"I'm just, like, astounded…. to think that maybe my granddaughters and my daughters will be able to look back and say, 'I'm a part of history now.'"