First Legal Recreational Marijuana Dispensary Opens in NYC; Minnesota House Education Finance Committee Approves Cannabis Legalization

On February 7, 2023, the first legal recreational marijuana dispensary in New York City opened its doors. Legally Rooted, located on 6th Street, celebrated its launch with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, setting the stage for the Queen City to capitalize on one of the country's most lucrative cannabis markets.[0]

The opening comes a year after New York legalized cannabis for adults 21 and over, and marks an important milestone in the state's transition to a regulated market. Marijuana Moment is tracking hundreds of cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year, and those interested in staying up to date with the cannabis legislation as it develops can view their Bill Tracker.[1]

Meanwhile, at the end of last year, President Biden granted a half dozen additional pardons, including for a handful of people with marijuana or other drug convictions on their records.[2] The President's pardons offered a second chance to thousands of people with federal criminal records for simple marijuana possession, helping them to obtain employment, housing, education, and more.[3]

The Minnesota House Education Finance Committee has also approved a bill that would legalize recreational cannabis in the state.[4] Republican Pam Altendorf of Red Wing highlighted data from a child psychiatrist in Colorado that showed a decline in grades, an increase in car accidents, and a spike in school dropouts in the wake of marijuana legalization.[4] However, D-F-L Representative Zack Stephenson of Coon Rapids argued that there is data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health that actually shows a decline in cannabis consumption in states that have legalized cannabis.[4] The bill includes measures to ensure cannabis products have child-proof packaging and labels, and Poison Control contact information, to keep cannabis away from young people.

For more information on the medical cannabis program, oversight by the Department of Health, and additional resources, visit the official website.[5]

0. “Meridian cannabis dispensary opens | Local News |”, 21 Feb. 2023,

1. “New Biden exec order touts cannabis actions (Newsletter: February …”, 21 Feb. 2023,

2. “Biden Signs Equity-Focused Executive Order That Touts Marijuana …”, 21 Feb. 2023,

3. “Presidential Pardons for Federal Cannabis Possession Convictions …”, 21 Feb. 2023,

4. “Recreational cannabis passes another MN House committee | News …”, 21 Feb. 2023,

5. “Consumer Protection Warning – Holland Cannabis Company …”, 21 Feb. 2023,