Mount Vernon hosts educational seminar on how to properly open and operate cannabis dispensary
The New York State Dispensary Showroom launched a two-day event in Mount Vernon Thursday geared to those who want to open a cannabis dispensary.
Shanduke McPhatter was only 14 years old when he was first arrested for selling marijuana.
"I got into it because I had to find some opportunities to bring food into my house," McPhatter said. "I did several stints on Rikers for marijuana offences."
McPhatter is called a legacy operator, someone who sold cannabis illegally, served time and now wants to go legit. However, there is a lot to learn before he can legally sell cannabis.
"The back office, the regulations, understanding tax laws. These are things you're not talking about when you're a legacy operator on the streets. You're not thinking about a tax law, you're not thinking about the human resources," McPhatter said.
"Every element and step that you would need to open and run a retail business is here. You want to get into this industry? Come to this event, and we'll tell you the first step you need to take to learn how to do that," said event organizer Desmon Lewis, of Bronx Community Foundation.
The event covered every area, from regulation to technology and everything in between.
"So, if you walked into a legal adult use dispensary, everything in this experience would show you what that means. From the ID verification step at the greeter, all the way through to the security system in the back in the vault and the inventory platform, to how you pay your people on HR and payroll systems," Lewis explained.
"When you're on the corner, you're thinking about how I can get these bags off. But now I want to learn how I can make sure how my dispensary has a successful consumption lounge, right? And I never thought about a consumption lounge until I decided to go into legal business. So, there's so much to learn," McPhatter said.
There was no actual cannabis for sale at the event, as it was an educational event only.
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