Jimmy Haber, CEO of BLT Restaurant Group, explains what people can expect from the cannabis lounges he plans to open in New York City within two years.
Jimmy Haber, CEO of BLT Restaurant Group, previewed “Varney & Co.” of what people can expect from the cannabis lounges he plans to open in New York City.
“We want it to be comfortable,” said the restaurateur behind BLT Steak and BLT Prime to host Stuart Varney on Monday. “We want people to enjoy their time there. We think it will be very social.”
Under a legalization bill signed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in March, New Yorkers can now own and use up to three ounces of cannabis. The sale of recreational marijuana is expected to become legal in about 18 months if the state enacts regulations under the law.
The law immediately allows people to use cannabis in public places, although New York City marijuana cannot smoke or vape in areas prohibited by state law, including workplaces, colleges and universities, hospitals, and within 30 meters of a school .
Haber pointed out that he did not yet know whether his cannabis lounge could also serve alcoholic drinks because “it is now really unclear what the law will finally look like”. However, he said he hoped to be able to sell food in the facilities “with certainty”.
Albany lawmakers have stated that alcohol is not allowed in the lounges, the New York Post reported.
For the company, Haber has partnered with Toast, a Colorado-based cannabis company that sells CBD-infused foods and oils, The Post reported.
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“We’re all newbies to New York, and Toast has the know-how to deliver a first-class experience,” Haber told the newspaper.
Jimmy Haber, CEO of BLT Restaurant Group, explains what people can expect from the cannabis lounges he plans to open in New York City.
Speaking to Varney on Monday, Haber also gave some pointers on when people can expect the cannabis lounges in New York City to show up, noting that the final date depends on instructions from the state.
“We hope to get some guidance,” said Haber to Varney. “Right now New York has passed a law, but there are no instructions yet.”
He noted that New York “needs to create a whole new agency similar to the State Liquor Authority, but for the cannabis business.”
“So by the time we have the guidelines it will be hard to say, but I would guess it will be sometime within the next two years,” he said.
Some New York bar owners are reportedly against the idea of cannabis lounges in the city.
The Post reported that Scott Gerber, who owns 10 bars, including Mr. Purple at Hotel Indigo on the Lower East Side, told the Post that “getting stoned is more of an anti-social thing” and that he is not “as one Business.”
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Haber countered that argument when speaking with Varney on Monday, saying that “the people I know at this young age feel like it’s extremely social, and so they are social in colleges these days.”
He added that his daughter, who has just graduated from college, wants to become CEO of his new cannabis lounge business.
Recreational marijuana is now legal in nearly half of all US states, according to an inclusive map from the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.