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Cannabis Dispensary Planned Near New York’s Apollo Theater Faces Backlash

  • NYC lawsuit seeks to block dispensary near the Apollo Theater
  • 125th Street business district is suing NY pot regulator
The Apollo Theater in June 2020. A cannabis dispensary is proposed for across 125th Street from the venue.
The Apollo Theater in June 2020. A cannabis dispensary is proposed for across 125th Street from the venue.Photographer: David Dee Delgado/Bloomberg

A local business group is suing New York state’s cannabis regulator to try to stop a dispensary from opening near services for homeless youths and suspended students on 125th Street in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, citing concerns about rising crime.

The case is the latest bump in New York’s rocky attempts to set up a licensed, legal cannabis market, which has already faced the proliferation of hundreds of unlicensed shops that sell marijuana — often contaminant-ridden or counterfeit — from the illicit market. It raises questions about the cannabis industry’s plan to bring more wealth and jobs to the Black and Latino communities that have disproportionately suffered from cannabis arrests.