Staten Island’s first legal marijuana sale took place Thursday with an outdoor cannabis farmers market outside the stadium of the FerryHawks professional baseball team, prompting the county’s conservative leaders to call it a stupid idea.
City and state officials approved the “Cannabis Growers Showcase” on public land near the ballpark, but the team’s owners and local elected officials said they were not consulted and would not have agreed if they had.
“Oh dear God. It’s a crazy world,” John Catsimatidis, co-owner of FerryHawks, told The Post.
“I’m upset. It’s the dumbing down of America. Baseball and marijuana don’t mix well.”
He confirmed that the Economic Development Corp. the city approved the use of the space outside FerryHawks Stadium for the pot sales event. Mayor Eric Adams founded an office, Cannabis NYC, to promote the emerging cannabis industry in the Baked Apple.
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) said hosting a pot market outside the stadium is a foul, not a home run.
“The North Shore of the District, with its beautiful views of New York Harbor, has so much potential, but unfortunately bright politicians won’t let it get out of the way,” Malliotakis said.
“Crime and open drug use have increased, and that will only make things worse. “This is just another reason why Staten Island should secede from the city and govern itself.”
Borough President Vito Fossella noted that one of the island’s 9/11 memorials is located next to the baseball stadium.
“It’s disrespectful. I don’t understand the reason. It’s bizarre,” Fossella said.
There are 23 state-licensed cannabis retail stores in the state, nine of which are in the city. None of these are on Staten Island.
Staten Islanders deserve to make a splash in cannabis, said Osbert Orduna, CEO of The Cannabis Place, which organized the event on behalf of 12 licensed cannabis farmers, cultivators and processors.
The cannabis vendors staffed 25 tables with 5,000 cannabis products, including gummies and other edibles as well as flowering marijuana.
“This is the first time legal cannabis will be sold on Staten Island. It is also the largest cannabis grower exhibition in New York City,” Orduna said.
“The location is a real eye-catcher and also brings good news.”
Orduna boasted that his company, The Cannabis Place, now sold pot in all five boroughs. His company delivers cannabis to homes in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan.
Still, the slow and bumpy rollout of New York’s legal marijuana industry has raised eyebrows since lawmakers legalized pot sales in 2021.
Regulators issued the first cannabis retail licenses to convicted marijuana dealers under a licensing program now blocked in court after disabled veterans sued, claiming they were unfairly left out under the law. Cannabis growers’ markets were not affected.
Around 1,500 unlicensed cannabis stores have now sprung up across the city, while only 23 state-licensed stores have opened.
Gov. Kathy Hochul recently passed a tougher new law that tightens enforcement against illegal traders.