The first legal recreational cannabis dispensary in the Bronx is expanding its reach while the second is still stuck in limbo, waiting on the “green” light to open.
Levent and Denis Ozkurt, who thought they were given the go-ahead by the state to open their 2460 Williamsbridge Road shop called Hush after passing an Aug. 3 inspection, have been jolted around since amid a statewide legal battle that put a halt on new dispensaries.
Now two months behind, the cousins — who were slated in the spring to potentially open the first recreational dispensary in the borough — have lost the advantage they thought they would have over other potential dispensary owners who were still getting their ducks in a row.
“We’re just going to keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best,” Levent Ozkurt told the Bronx Times.
Judge Kevin Bryant said last Friday the court will consider allowing dispensaries that are ready to open on a case-by-case basis. And if the petitioners don’t object by Oct. 6, the Ozkurts can proceed with their plans to open the Allerton shop.
The legal fight stems from a lawsuit filed in Albany Supreme Court by service-disabled veterans against the state on Aug. 2 over its dispensary licensing rollout. Despite the freeze on new dispensaries, the judge seemed to allow the Ozkurts to proceed with opening — since they were almost ready to open their doors — before reversing his decision after finding that the state Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) included dispensaries that had not reached the final benchmarks in a list of dispensaries that were supposed to be ready to begin operations.
Meanwhile, as of Wednesday, the borough’s first and only legal recreational dispensary in operation has expanded, now making deliveries to the Bronx and Upper Manhattan from Wednesday-Sunday between 12 p.m.-8 p.m., with a $100 minimum.
The dispensary, called Statis, opened its doors on July 6 at 817 E. Tremont Ave. in the Crotona section of the Bronx. The owners first advertised its location as temporary with plans to move to a Jerome Avenue storefront under construction, which was contradictory to what they were communicating to the local community board.
But Alexis Isaacs, a spokesperson for Statis, told the Bronx Times on Thursday that the owners plan to remain on East Tremont Avenue and open a second shop near Times Square in Manhattan. While expanding in the Bronx isn’t out of the question, the owners are unsure if they will be able to pursue a Jerome Avenue location, she said.
Reach Aliya Schneider at [email protected] or (718) 260-4597. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes