Tiffany Cordero

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Williamsburg will get its first Medical Marijuana Dispensary: Remedy Dispensary will open up shop below Pod Hotel on Metropolitan Avenue. 

According to the Commercial Observer, the dispensary managed by Valley Agriceuticals, signed a 10-year lease for a 3,800-square-foot space at 178 North 4th St with the help of Katz & Associates, which brokered the deal. They’ll be joining a host of retail spaces at the base of the Williamsburg hotel. 

In July 2014, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature enacted the Compassionate Care Act to provide a comprehensive, safe and effective medical marijuana program that meets the needs of New Yorkers. As of now, Valley Agriceuticals is one of only 10 companies licensed by the state of New York to grow and dispense medical marijuana. This will be the company’s fourth location, with two locations in upstate New York and one on Long Island. 

The buildout for the project started in July and Remedy has plans to open up for business this month according to Donny Moskovic of Katz & Associates who brokered both new leases for Valley Agriceuticals.

According to their website, Remedy employs experts on the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid therapeutics. The experts’ principal function will be to educate each patient, not only on medical cannabis and how it works with their bodies and in their lives, but also to assist patients in providing smooth, supportive, and timely care through each phase of treatment. 

While there are many who are excited about the new local vendor, there are some residents who still have concerns. 

“I think there are pros and cons, the pros are that people will have easier access to an alternative drug that’s been proven to be safer and more effective when it comes to certain conditions,” said Austin Woolridge, a native Brooklynite. “But I think that minorities might be at a disadvantage when trying to enter in the legal space. Overall, the people that have been most affected by drug laws have been Black and Brown,” he added. 

Woolridge’s concerns are not unique to him, it’s been a topic of conversation for quite some time now. According to a New York Times study, in Brooklyn, officers in the precinct covering Canarsie arrested people on marijuana possession charges at a rate more than four times as high as in the precinct that includes Greenpoint, despite residents calling 311, the city’s help line, and 911 to complain about marijuana at the same rate, as police data shows. The Canarsie area is 85 percent black. The Greenpoint area is 4 percent black.

As Woolridge put it best, “It’s a good thing for people medically speaking, but there is still that overarching concern of who’s really benefiting from this.”

The dispensary will be the borough’s third since the first location, owned by Citiva in Park Slope, which opened in January. Overall, this will be New York state’s sixth dispensary. 

For more information about Remedy Dispensary visit their website

Images courtesy of Get Budding on Unsplash.

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