After an eight month wait, Brooklyn’s first legal weed store has finally opened.
Grow Together in Gravesend, the borough’s first licensed dispensary for recreational sales, opened its doors on Tuesday. Located at 2370 Coney Island Avenue, the Black-owned business is run by Christopher Ledlum and Steven Sapoznik, a so-called “justice applicant” who had previously been convicted of a low-level marijuana-related offense.
The store sells the usual array of weed, including flower, pre-rolled joints, edibles, as well as oils and concentrates. The business said it’s ready to “embark on a journey to provide top-quality cannabis products and a welcoming environment for our community,” on its Instagram.
“The fact that now we can pay taxes and do it legitimately, it’s just, it’s the way it should be,” Sapoznik told News 12. “A safe place where people are comfortable to work, comfortable to come in, comfortable to come and spend their money.”
Of course, Grow Together is hardly the borough’s first weed store. It’s just the first to open legally.
There are as many as 1,500 illegal pot shops operating in the city alone, Mayor Eric Adams and Sheriff Anthony Miranda said earlier this year. And only a day before Grow Together opened, New York State authorities closed its first unlicensed weed bodega in the borough after ignoring several warnings. Officials confiscated more than 600 pounds of cannabis from Big Chief Smoke Shop in Bay Ridge, which was subsequently shuttered.
Attorney General Letitia James and New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in a joint press release that the store’s owner could be fined “millions of dollars in penalties.”
“This site egregiously violated New York’s cannabis laws and I’m proud to be working with the Attorney General to shut this down,” Hochul said. “With Brooklyn’s first legal cannabis retailers opening this month and illegal shops continuing to close, we are turning the corner towards building a stronger, safer cannabis industry.”
More legal weed shops are expected to open next year. And, for now at least, countless others are still operating without a license all over the place.
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