JAMAICA, Queens (PIX11) — Feverish, last-minute touches, including painting, stocking shelves and hashing out the final game plan, were all happening Wednesday night on the eve of a grand opening of Queens’ first legal recreational marijuana dispensary.
Simply put, the level of excitement is sky high inside the new Good Grades marijuana dispensary in Jamaica, Queens. Good Grades will open to the public on Thursday at 2 p.m. at 162-03 Jamaica Avenue.
New York City’s first three legal dispensaries are all located in Manhattan. Good Grades will be the first to open in Queens. And, as we prepare to close out Women’s History Month, it will also be New York City’s first dispensary to be majority owned by a woman: 26-year-old Extasy James.
“I think I’m still in shock right now. Being on the outside, like a customer, I’ve been around the area and there’s a lot of people that would like to consume cannabis. There’s a lot of people that use CBD in the area. And since they’re shutting down a lot of illegal shops, we’re right here, right on the strip. We’re number one, and we’re ready to go,” said Extasy.
As a justice-involved individual impacted by low-level marijuana laws before decriminalization, Extasy’s license application was prioritized.
The venture, located in a prime, busy location right on Jamaica Avenue, is also supported by the New York State Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund.
In advance of Thursday’s pop-up opening, which will be an opportunity to get the business up and running, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said, “With the opening of Good Grades in Queens, we’re continuing to build on our progress to create a safe, regulated cannabis industry in New York. New York is working to support entrepreneurs and ensure that consumers can purchase safe, legal products while supporting their communities.”
The new dispensary is a true family affair. Extasy’s co-parter is her cousin, Michael James, an attorney who specializes in the cannabis industry. Both Extasy and Michael see their new entrepreneurial journey as a real opportunity to create generational wealth for their family.
“Our family is from this community. We’re born and raised. A lot of us are from right here. I grew up on this same block. So it’s special to us to be here,” said Michael.
Extasy adds, “We’re great. We’re off to a great start, and I think it’s going to be amazing.”