First Black Woman-Owned Dispensary Opens in Manhattan

First Black Woman-Owned Dispensary Opens in Manhattan

Bliss + Rex is a Black woman-owned cannabis dispensary in Manhattan, and its team announced on March 20 that it is the first of its kind. announcement. Licensed adult-use cannabis businesses are starting to appear in New York City, competing with unlicensed businesses.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a seat at the table in the cannabis industry. As entrepreneurs, we have the chance to create a legacy, change the trajectory of our families' futures, and give back to our communities in new ways.” “Yes,” said Nicole Lucien, co-founder and CEO of Bliss + Lex, which is opening a pharmacy. her husband, Christopher Lucien; “As a former New York City public school educator, my life has been dedicated to family, community and service, and now we are proud to share our passion for the plant.”

We are Manhattan's first Black woman-owned pharmacy and are licensed as a Conditional Adult Use Retail Pharmacy (CAURD). Bliss + Lex is Housing Works CAURD Community Initiativeprovides critical support to social equity cannabis entrepreneurs in New York.

The New York Cannabis Control Board (CCB) met on February 16th and voted on several items. new draft cannabis regulations, also announced the first round of adult-use licenses, including cultivation and research. The CCB approved a total of 109 licenses for the state, including 38 retail-specific licenses and 26 small business licenses.

Currently, only in-state cannabis business license holders are approved under the CAURD program, which is specifically granted to social equity applicants. Although these business owners hold conditional licenses, CCB's latest license is the first unconditional license granted, meaning they did not qualify as social equity applicants. .

Because Nicole's husband has a criminal record, they benefited from a New York state program that prioritizes giving people with criminal records the first retail licenses to sell cannabis in the state.

“Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that a cannabis conviction that had previously created barriers to work, housing, and acceptance would be the key to this door of opportunity for me and my family,” said Christopher Co. Lucian said. Founder and COO. “I have always wanted to help vulnerable populations through my work with nonprofits that serve the homeless. Becoming a business owner is an energizing way to help the community.”

“Housing Works, through the CAURD Community Initiative, is proud to collaborate and support the opening of Bliss + Rex, the first Black woman-owned dispensary in Manhattan,” said Director of Retail, Housing Works Cannabis. Sasha Nutgent said. This is a huge step forward in our efforts to build fair markets here in New York. Nicole and Christopher represent exactly what the New York adult market needs more of – mission-driven and dedicated to educating and building a nurturing community, and we look forward to watching the team succeed. , we look forward to helping them in any way they need. ”

Nicole is the first Black woman to earn the coveted license to open a cannabis dispensary in Manhattan.

Her husband also has a license and has a previous drug conviction. They benefited from a New York state program that gives priority for initial retail licenses to sell marijuana to people with criminal records.

Owner Christopher Lucian said: “I tried to start some businesses, like my wife said was home renovation work, but I was rejected because of my criminal record. I never had a chance to succeed regardless.'' I had a second chance, but this was always against me. ”

CCB Chair Tremaine Wright spoke at a recent meeting and expressed relief that it is time to move New York's cannabis industry forward, starting with social equity applicants. “This moment took a long time to create,” Wright said. “I can assure you that this is just the beginning. The Office is working diligently to prepare as many applications as possible for consideration, and the Board will continue to approve additional licenses at future Board meetings.” He added that the CCB's goal is to “work on a number of things that we hope will help move the industry forward.”

The 2,603 ​​square foot retail store aims to provide a highly personalized consumer experience, from on-the-go ordering to comprehensive, step-by-step walk-through education. Bliss + Lex carries a wide range of cannabis products from brands including: Off hours, 1906, Tyson 2.0, more. The retail store at 128 East 86th St. is close to the subway and open seven days a week.

With two decades of dedicated experience, Nuggs is a seasoned cannabis writer and grower. His journey has been a harmonious blend of nurturing cannabis from seed to harvest and crafting insightful content. A true expert, they've honed strain-specific knowledge, cultivation techniques, and industry insights. His passion shines through enlightening articles and thriving gardens, making them a respected figure in both the growing and writing facets of the cannabis world.

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