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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Cannabicity’ at Mohawk Harbor CBD Aims to Transform into a Cannabis Dispensary


SCHENECTADY — The life of⁣ Barbara Vaughn ⁤took a dramatic turn‌ when she celebrated her 60th birthday.

In 2010, the Kingston resident was diagnosed with⁢ transverse ​myelitis, a ​neurological disorder that inflames ​the ⁤spinal cord, disrupts nerve signals and,⁤ in severe ⁣cases, can lead to paralysis.

After three episodes of ‌the disease that left ⁣her temporarily⁤ unable to walk, Vaughn managed to regain control of ​her limbs. She credits her recovery to her years of⁣ bodybuilding. ⁤However,‍ she continues to experience a persistent “burning” nerve pain ​from her midsection downwards.

“I am on⁣ nerve medication for pain,‌ but it doesn’t completely eliminate the pain,” ⁤shared Vaughn, who ⁢is now ‌74.

The ⁤diagnosis drastically altered ⁤Vaughn’s life, forcing her to close the⁣ lighting store she had run ⁤for‌ many years.

Eventually,⁤ she turned to medical marijuana to⁢ help manage her symptoms and later discovered the benefits of cannabinoids, or CBD. Vaughn found that CBD-infused sprays, ‍gummies, and ointments, particularly those ⁢applied to the⁤ soles ‌of her feet, became⁤ an integral part of her daily pain management routine.

“It’s a crucial part of my wellness regimen,” she emphasized.

After years of advocating for the benefits of CBD⁢ to her friends and family, Vaughn decided‍ to open a storefront‍ in 2018. Her goal was to make ‍CBD products accessible⁢ to⁣ those facing similar health challenges. After​ an extensive search across the ‍Hudson Valley and ⁢Capital Region, she chose Mohawk Harbor ​as her location.

Last month, Cannabicity officially opened its doors, offering a wide range ⁣of⁣ products from edibles ‌and ‍CBD-infused beverages to ointments and smokable flowers. The store also carries ⁤sleep aids and ‍vape ‍pens, and even has a section dedicated​ to pets.

The 3,500-square-foot facility is conveniently located next to the V1N1 nail salon and the Courtyard ‌Marriot hotel, and is within walking distance​ from hundreds⁢ of‍ apartments, and popular destinations ​like Druthers, Vine & Shaker and Rivers⁢ Casino and‌ Resort. Plus, there’s plenty of⁤ parking, which can be a challenge for ⁤some businesses in the city.

“There’s a lot happening in ⁢this area,” she noted. “It’s ​very‌ accessible. You can get here easily by car, ⁢bike, or even⁣ boat.”

For now, the store is primarily focused ‌on CBD products. However, Vaughn has applied for a license to operate a retail cannabis dispensary and is prepared to ‍start selling adult-use marijuana if approved.

The ⁣store is already equipped ​with a⁢ secure lobby, a ​spacious vault behind fortified walls for added security,⁣ and a large counter at the⁣ front equipped with alarms.

“We’re ⁢in⁤ the queue,” said David Johnson, the store’s general manager,‌ referring to the licensing process that many in the industry have criticized for being too slow.

Schenectady welcomed its first retail cannabis dispensary ⁣on Union Street last ‌year. Since ​then, storefronts have opened in ‌Albany, Colonie and ⁣Troy, ⁣and⁣ dispensaries have been ​proposed in ⁢Saratoga Springs and the nearby village of Scotia.

“We’re ready to ​transition,”​ Vaughn stated.

If Vaughn‍ is granted⁣ a dispensary license, Cannabicity would be the ‌only ⁣retail marijuana business allowed to operate at Mohawk Harbor due to regulations requiring at least 1,000 ​feet‍ of distance between dispensaries.

It’s an exciting prospect, said Vaughn, ‌who is currently focused on building the ⁣brand ‍and establishing a presence ‍in the community.

Cannabicity has already ⁣formed partnerships⁤ with several local nonprofits⁣ and has launched a ​scholarship ⁣with ​SUNY Schenectady County Community ⁣College for its upcoming culinary ‍cannabis microcredential program.

“Our primary goal‌ is to ‌prioritize the customer and provide the ⁤best possible⁢ experience,” Vaughn said. ⁢”I ‍am ⁤confident that we’ll be able to achieve that.”

For more⁤ information on Cannabicity, ⁣visit cannabicity.net.

Rafael Torres
Rafael Torres
Rafael Torres, a native of Schenectady, has returned to his hometown after several years of reporting in the Midwest. A graduate of Missouri School of Journalism, Alex is known for his empathetic approach to local news, covering everything from community events to local governance, always with an aim to bridge diverse perspectives.
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