New York City skyline facing south
March 2024 Newsletter

Mayor Adams Fights For Legal Cannabis Industry

Celebrates Opening Of First Black Woman-Owned Legal Dispensary in Brooklyn
Recommits To Closing Down Illegal Smoke Shops

Congratulations to Leeann Mata who is the proud Founder and owner of Matawana, the first Black woman-owned dispensary in Brooklyn, New York. The opening was attended by NYC Mayor Eric Adams, Dasheeda Dawson, Founding Director of Cannabis NYC and other officials and New York State Assembly Member Jenifer Rajkumar. The Mayor took the opportunity to assert that he is committed to cracking down on illegal shops.

Click here to view the momentous event and joyful opening, and learn more about the Mayor’s commitment to shutting down illicit shops.

Matawana Dispensary opening, March 2024
Matawana Dispensary opening, March 2024, (from the left), Dasheeda Dawson, Leeann Mata, Eric Adams, and Jenifer Rajkumar
New York State News

More on Crackdowns Across NYS From Governor Hochul

“…these Illicit vendors flagrantly violate our laws by selling to kids, evading our taxes, and engaging in fraudulent advertising about their products…”
– NYS Governor, Kathy Hochul

We have been reporting in several of our CWCBExpo Newsletters that Goveror Hochul is also committed to shutting down illegal shops. Her approach seems to be garnering support from legal dispensary owners who welcome her plan. Learn more from this WKBWTV news report where NYS dispensary owners praise the Governor and are hopeful that the actions will offer growth for their legal dispensaries and present opportunity to put NYS on track to have a thriving cannabis industry.

Seal of Governor Kathy Hochul

Dispensary Openings

March saw many dispensary openings across New York City and State. Below are some of the many recent openings.

TreeHead Culture
ERIE | 665 North French Road, Amherst 14228

The Travel Agency Downtown Brooklyn
FLATBUSH | 122 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn 11217

Matawana Dispensary
PARK SLOPE | 533 5th Avenue, Brooklyn 11215

The Bakery Cannabis Dispensary
ALBANY| 1099 Loudon Road, Cohoes 12047

Raven’s Joint
ONONDAGA | 4106 NY-31 Suite 903, Clay 13041

Bronx Joint
BRONX | 925 Hunts Point Avenue, Bronx 10459

Polanco Brothers
MANHATTAN | 12 East 42nd Street, New York 10017

Liberty Buds
MANHATTAN | 1115 1st Avenue, New York 10065
Website: (website coming soon)


The Cannabis Place
QUEENS | 74-03 Metropolitan Avenue, Queens 11379

Leafy Peaks
WATERFORD | 27 B Saratoga Avenue, Waterford 12188

Bliss + Lex
MANHATTAN | 128 E 86th Street, New York 10028

Mr Good Vybz
ALBANY | 25 N Pearl Street, Albany 12207

Black Canna Market Co LLC
POUGHKEEPSIE | 89 Main Street, Poughkeepsie 12601
Website: (website coming soon)

Licensing News

On March 11 the Office of cannabis Management issued the Adult-Use December Queues on the OCM website. There were five queues made from a random sequence process for each type of license for applications submitted within the application window that ended December 18, 2023. The queues represent a review order for the OCM itself and do not represent the order in which licenses will be issued. Furthermore, inclusion in a queue does not guarantee getting a license. The five queues were audited by a third party. There are queues for:

  • Cultivator
  • Processor
  • Distributor
  • Retail Dispensary
  • Microbusiness Applicants
NYS OCM Office of Cannabis Management

Also noteworthy in March, the OCM issued a listing of what they call a Proximity Protected Locations Map (PPLM). The intention with this is to provide transparency on locations of licensed cannabis dispensaries, as well as those proposed locations on applications that are still under review. Proposed locations have what is called proximity protection since the OCM reviewed the locations and have deemed them compliant regarding distancing and proximity requirements until the final determination on a application is made. The PPLM is meant to be a helpful aid to identify potential locations for a cannabis dispensary.

There are many more things to know about these five Adult-Use queues that the OCM posted.
You can learn more here.

New Jersey News

“These are early signs of the potential of this market. Sales have grown steadily since Governor Murphy began the work to reform New Jersey’s cannabis market.  If we consider medicinal cannabis sales from 2018 to 2021 – before recreational sales began – cannabis sales totals exceed $2 billion over the six-year span.”

– Jeff Brown, Executive Director at the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission

NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission

In our February Newsletter, we highlighted the positive reports that the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission gave about the number of opened dispensaries and the revenue to date for medical and recreational sales. The news just keeps getting better.

The combined revenue for medical cannabis sales and recreational sales since recreational went into effect April 2022 is already over $1.3B to date. The expectation is that in 2024, medical and recreational sales could see over $1B in combined sales.

New Jersey Consumption Lounges

We reported previously in recent Newsletters that New Jersey consumption lounges are coming soon.


Consumption Lounge, men smoking and relaxing
Virginia News

Governor Glenn Youngkin Does Not Want to Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis

The suspense is over. Governor Glenn Youngkin vetoed the piece of legislation that was passed in late February by both the Virginia state General Assembly and the state Senate to launch a Virginia Adult-Use cannabis industry. The Adult-Use Cannabis Sales bill would have taken effect in May 2025 and sought to build a legalized commercial adult-use market in Virginia. Youngkin made some strong statements about the legislation that he vetoed.

In addition, Youngkin’s veto power did not stop at just one cannabis bill. He also vetoed a bill that would have allowed individuals who were incarcerated for certain marijuana offenses to receive automatic re-sentencing hearings and have their punishments adjusted. No dice.

Lastly, it seems that Youngkin’s views are simply not in step with the majority of Virginians and their views on cannabis and legalization as suggested by a poll released earlier this month by the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College.

Cardinal News
Hawaii News

Expungement Bills

Hawaii has advanced several cannabis legislation bills that seek to expunge tens of thousands of cannabis convictions. The proposals spelled out some legislation to create an adult-use market in Hawaii.

Federal News

Descheduling vs. Rescheduling

The industry has been abuzz for weeks with the prospect of rescheduling and with even louder calls for descheduling. Several important things that deserve highlighting include:

  • President Biden’s comments made during his State of the Union Address in February where he asserted his support for cannabis reform.


  • Vice President Kamala Harris’s meeting this month in March, where she met with several industry influencers, stakeholders, and some who received pardons for cannabis offenses. Included in the notable attendees were hip hop artist and rapper Fat Joe, and Chris Goldstein, Regional Coordinator for NORML. Harris made comments that were bold and welcomed by those in the room and gives a positive prospect for real action by the Federal Government.

“…we need to legalize marijuana…”

– Vice President Kamala Harris, at her roundtable meeting on March 15th at the Whitehouse.

Vice President Kamala Harris Making Statement
Reality TV

Read Upcoming 420 High Hopes Series From Hulu

Hulu is debuting an unscripted reality series about a dispensary, based in Hollywood, CA. The series is called High Hopes and is produced by Jimmy Kimmel’s production company.

CWCBExpo’s Advisory Counsel

Welcome CWCBExpo Advisory Council

Please join the CWCBExpo team in welcoming, honoring and thanking our Advisory Council Members. Each one is accomplished in the industry and has made an impact to so many, and they continue to do so. We appreciate their advisement and we look forward to working with each of them at all of our upcoming CWCBExpo events.

CWCBExpo Advisory Council


“Financial Challenges in a Federally Illegal Industry”

In this session, the panelists discuss the banking and financing challenges facing the industry, and give their advice on how retailers and brands can survive and advance to the next level.

Moderated by Steve Gelsi, MarketWatch; Michael Harlow, Partner, CohnReznick; Neil Kaufman, Partner, Managing Member, Kaufman McGowan PLCC; David Feldman, Co-founder, CEO, Skip Intro Advisors; Ryan Himmel, VP, Head of Strategic Partnerships, LeafLink

Financial Challenges in a Federally Illegal Industry, Seminar Session, CWCBExpo, June 2024

(pictured from the left) Neil Kaufman, Ryan Himmel, Michael Harlow, David Feldman and Steve Gelsi.

The CWCBExpo BLOG: Timely News & In Depth Articles

CWCBExpo blogs contain relevant, timely information. Recent subjects include cannabis lounges, NY licensing review and tech tools shaping the industry.

Cannabis Retail Shop
Meet This Media Partner: Leafwire

“We built Leafwire to provide a safe, welcoming platform for the cannabis business community. We saw a need in the industry to provide a platform where the cannabis industry could share news, promote events, find business partners, find employees, look for investors and just simply network. We’re 100% devoted to the cannabis and hemp industries.

“The Cannabis industry is unique in that we are currently an industry of start ups. Due to federal regulations and other issues, larger corporations are largely kept on the sidelines until we clear those hurdles. This creates an opportunity that we have not seen for decades within the business landscape. The path forward for this industry is through the start up community, leveling the field for new entrants. As a result, we have a chance to build something from the ground up that is designed to not only help people, but the environment and the world.”

Get Your Exhibit Space Today.

CWCBExpo, 10th Annual

June 5 – 6, 2024
Javits Convention Center, NYC

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