What to Know
- A group of bodega owners hope to reap the benefits if recreational marijuana is legalized in New York State
- United Bodegas of America wants politicians to let New York City bodegas package and distribute pot if it becomes legal
- Bodegas are already allowed to sell beer, cigarettes and lottery tickets, a UBA release notes
A group of bodega owners hope to reap the benefits if recreational marijuana is legalized in New York State.
United Bodegas of America wants politicians to let New York City bodegas form a network that will allow them to package and distribute pot if it becomes legal, the group said in a release on Sunday.
Bodegas are already allowed to sell beer, cigarettes and lottery tickets, the release notes.
“Bodega owners are honest, hard-working people who employ over 100,000 people in the NYC area alone, we deserve to participate in this new opportunity. We have battled with people selling marijuana for decades in front of our stores," UBA President Radames Rodriguez said in a statement.
“We have seen thousands being arrested for selling marijuana in front of our businesses. Our rents are sky high, we are highly regulated, we have taken a huge financial hit with minimum wages, insurance continues to increase and our communities are not growing,” Rodriguez went on to say.
"Bodega owners need increased revenue to survive, we have paid our dues," he added.
In his own statement, UBA spokesman Fernando Mateo maintained that "responsible 'Safe Haven Bodegas' should get first crack at providing people that choose to smoke marijuana with a local place to buy it."
“Prohibition of marijuana hits black and Latino communities the hardest so we should profit first from the packaging, distribution and sale of marijuana in our bodegas,” he said.