State approves pot dispensary license to Schenectady resident, hemp entrepreneur – The Daily Gazette

SCHENECTADY — Lifelong Schenectadian Donald Andrews hopes to soon legally sell adult-use marijuana close to home.

The entrepreneur has been waiting a decade to do so.

“I’m just — I’m on the edge of my seat,” Andrews said.

Andrews, 34, was one of four Capital Region recipients earlier this week awarded cannabis retail licenses under the state’s Conditional Adult-Use Dispensaries system, a program that allows industry stakeholders convicted of past marijuana-related offenses first dibs on New York’s newly legal recreational pot market.

The 2007 Schenectady High School graduate was convicted on two marijuana-related offenses in the late 2000s.

“A lot of people have had their livelihoods ruined,” Andrews said. “And a lot of good people.”

Andrews in 2013 launched a Scotia-based head shop (the business name was later changed from Dabbcity to Vapedcity to avoid conflict with a California company of the same name) and later opened up two CBD-focused retail outlets in Glenville and Schenectady.

For the cannabis enthusiast, his end goal was always launching a dispensary when the time was right. He’s long traveled to marijuana conventions in pot-friendly states to study retail operations.

“What made me stick around here is knowing

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