Welcome to weed week! For those of you who don’t know, 4/20 is the official (or is it unofficial?) “stoner holiday,” and as weed becomes both more recreationally mainstream and accepted as an effective medical treatment for conditions including PTSD and glaucoma, this “holiday” has become mainstream as well. Viceland released a few videos like the one linked below, which almost mirrors the advertisements for Shark Week I remember from growing up. I didn’t imagine that a major channel would have such a week-long celebration like this before I turned 30, but I also didn't expect that states would be legalizing weed, either.
The New York Value here? Well, first off, New York state currently allows residents with certain medical issues to become licensed and obtain marijuana-related products legally. They don't sell "flower," the term for the part of the plant that you smoke, but instead have different tinctures and concentrates that can be consumed in various ways to alleviate symptoms and treat underlying conditions.
Second, Cynthia Nixon is running against Cuomo for NY State governor and she has made marijuana legalization a central issue for her campaign, mainly to address the toxic effect the war on drugs has had on non-white populations across America, including in NYC. Jail sentences for marijuana possession are overwhelmingly handed down to black and Hispanic Americans: of New Yorkers arrested for marijuana possession in 2017, 48% were black, 39% were Hispanic, and just 9% where white. This is in spite of the fact that marijuana is used at the same levels across races.
NY has decriminalized marijuana (personal amounts, not large quantities for selling) as part of Mayor De Blasio’s commitment to promoting racial and economic equality, so while the arrest rate is still not as low as might be hoped, they've made progress. Anything that promotes equality and helps to fix our broken prison system is a win in my book, so thank you, NY!
But the real reason I’m writing about weed today is because it’s Real Estate News!!!!! Manhattan is currently home to two dispensaries where registered patients and their caregivers can buy cannabinoid products. But this Friday, on 4/20, California-based company MedMen will open their 10,000 square foot medical dispensary at 433 Fifth Ave, dubbed the "Barneys of weed." Unlike the other, smaller dispensaries already open, this one will be leaning into the more luxury products (and oh, are there luxury marijuana products), perhaps looking forward to a time when they will be able to sell their wares to more than just patients?
The brand will reportedly have their employees decked out in t-shirts that say "Shop. It's legal." to further normalize the activity. Again, this store will only allow those to enter who can legally purchase their products, and it makes sense to alleviate any misgivings these people still have shopping in a physical stores, especially on such a prestigious retail street.
Have a lovely week, everyone, and smoke 'em if you got 'em!