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The first state-licensed cannabis shop opens in the City of Rochester



Rochester, New York – The first state-licensed dispensary in the City of Rochester received permission to open its doors in the days preceding 4/20, the unofficial holiday for cannabis consumers.

“We didn’t want to skip a step at all so it was important to do everything right and there were things we couldn’t control,” said Hiram Hernandez, co-owner of Good Life Collective on Monroe Avenue.

The legal challenges to the cannabis industry in New York caused the process to be delayed for almost two years. The shop was finally able to open for business this past week.

“We have edibles, drinks, flower, pre-rolls, oil, wax,” said co-owner Antonio Hernandez.

“It was a great experience,” said Damien Poles, who was visiting from Boston. “Easy to navigate. Came in, great experience. They had music playing.”

In March 2021, cannabis became legal in New York State, a mere three years ago.
On Friday, Governor Kathy Hochul unveiled further plans to close illicit businesses and safeguard the legitimate market.

“We’re going to weed out the unlicensed shops and clear the way for the licensed owners so they can grow their budding businesses and grow out their dreams,” said Governor Hochul.

The co-owners of Good Life Collective are finally looking forward to a lengthy journey.

“We’re trying to promote a safe environment to consume in a safe manner,” said co-owner Jamel Young. “The perception of marijuana is changing and we want to be at the forefront of that in Rochester.”

“I think it’s a nice thing we’re trying to do with the neighborhood and it’s gonna be a great addition to it so this is positive to the community,” said Nicholas Pryor of Rochester.

In a statement, Elyssa Rossi of the Monroe Avenue Merchant’s Association said “The Merchants of Monroe Avenue have been eagerly awaiting the opening of The Good Life Collective. Hiram and his staff have been wonderful contributors to the neighborhood long before the opening of their dispensary. Their commitment to community and the standard to which they hold themselves and their staff will continue to help encourage the vibrancy of our Lower Monroe quadrant. We are grateful they chose Monroe Avenue as their home, and we look forward to working with them for many years to come”

Monroe County already has two additional dispensaries with state licenses. They are Evergreen Retail in Brockport and Rise in Henrietta.