NYC Bodega Owners Want To Sell Cannabis

Published on February 28, 2019

Admit it, you already do most of your grocery shopping there during the week. Why not add your cannabis shopping to your daily pit stop at the local bodega as well? As New York gets closer to finally legalizing cannabis in the near future, the state is prepping for what things will look like. Local New York City bodega owners are urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to allow the shops to carry cannabis. The movement is being backed by The United Bodegas of America. The organization held a press conference on Sunday to discuss the matter.

The Current Plan

Cuomo announced his plan to legalize cannabis in the next couple of years. The proposal grants priority to women and minorities who want to open the businesses first. Cuomo is recognizing that the criminalization of cannabis has had a lasting, multi-generational impact on minority groups in New York City for decades now and is making an effort to grant some sort of reparation to those groups in return. This is the same reason that bodega owners want to be able to carry the products in their stores. Bodega owners have seen firsthand that incarcerations from cannabis related crimes have negatively impacted their community. They believe that low income neighborhoods and businesses should be able to profit financially from legalization.

Most bodega owners can agree that the move would be the best way to prevent larger companies from being able to profit off of the sales of legal cannabis. Allowing bodegas to carry the product would boost the local economy by keeping the money flowing in and out of local businesses. These businesses already sell things like alcohol and tobacco, so adding cannabis wouldn’t require much more regulation. The only drawbacks to allowing bodegas to sell the products would be their increased risk of potentially selling to younger kids and the greater threat to being victims of robbery. Bodega owners may have to amp up their security in order to sell the products, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

Other Plans From Cuomo

It’s no secret that New York City is having some trouble finding a way to update its public transit system. In one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world, it seems absurd that the public transportation system—which is used by most of its working class citizens—hasn’t been updated in more than three decades. Massive breakdowns and delays over the last couple of years have caused public outrage. Cuomo is being forced to find a way to fix the issue as soon as possible. The MTA is privately owned, but the city has been under major pressure to help renovate the quickly deteriorating public transportation system.

The Governor unveiled a massive new plan to fix parts of the New York City subway system. The plan will be implemented in the next couple of years. The proposal for the new plan will implement congestion pricing in some of Manhattans busier areas. This will increase the price of a ticket on the train. But the increase will go toward refurbishment of the quickly deteriorating system. A portion of the taxes raised from cannabis sales would also go toward maintaining the public transportation system. The new system calls for some big points and requests from the MTA as well.

New Yorkers can expect congestion pricing to go into effect in the next two years, no later than December of 2020. New York city already has one of the cheapest ticket prices in the world for its public transportation system. The new system will mimic strategies implemented by organizations like the London Underground. Cities like Singapore and Tokyo, for example, are famous for their notably clean and safe subway systems. Rather than offering a flat-rate for a one-way ticket or unlimited monthly card, ride prices are calculated based on location.

Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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