Bronx’s first cannabis dispensary opening soon – but community pushes back on its location
The first recreational cannabis dispensary in the Bronx is getting ready to open its doors as soon as next month, but members of the community are voicing their concerns about the dispensary’s location.
The storefront at 2460 Williamsbridge Road is empty now, but soon will host the Bronx’s first dispensary. It’s become the talk of the town, but not entirely in a positive light.
Owners Levent and Denis Ozkurt gave News 12 an inside look at the construction of Hush, which they say is set to open in mid-July.
“We’ve been supporters of marijuana from the beginning, and I think this is a perfect opportunity to bring it to the mainstream,” said Levent Ozkurt.
For Roxanne Delgado, founder of The Friends of Pelham Parkway, her and some fellow community members say the location is too close to a house of worship, a school and a playground.
“We’re not against legalizing it, we’re against the location,” said Delgado. “It is directly across the street from a playground that is used day in and day out.”
The state’s Office of Cannabis Management, which hands out the dispensary licenses, reviewed the proposed location and determined that nearby school P.S. 89 is less than the required 500 feet away, but that rule only applies if the school is on the same street as the dispensary.
The Mazzei Playground sits directly across the street and is owned by NYC Parks, which makes it exempt from the rule as well.
The house of worship is under 200 feet away, but not included in the report provided to News 12. There’s an existing smoke shop directly next to the house of worship – and that was part of the Ozkurt’s argument when they spoke directly to Community Board 11.
“We’re going to have security at the front. Everybody above 21 can come in, nobody under 21,” said Levent Ozkurt. “There’s cameras everywhere, every corner, this is going to be everything by the book.”
News 12 reached out to Community Board 11, and a spokesperson said they discussed the dispensary less than a week ago and voted to send a letter of objection to the Office of Cannabis Management regarding the location.