Fifth Avenue features brands including high-end Saks and the ubiquitous H&M—and now MedMen, a marijuana dispensary. A medical- marijuana card and a doctor’s note are needed to buy the shop’s products, but the company and elected officials at its packed opening party were confident that will change. “This store represents the future,” said Adam Bierman, co-founder and CEO of MedMen, which sells cannabis for nonmedical use in California and Nevada.
With sanitized offerings such as tinctures, vape pens and gel caps—and no smokable bud—the shop reflects other medical-marijuana dispensaries in New York. But Bierman’s willingness to talk about full legalization is a sign of the times. Gov. Andrew Cuomo in January said he would study taking that step and this month called doing so inevitable—after Democratic challenger Cynthia Nixon endorsed it.
Nixon and other legalization activists here cite racial justice as their top motivation. Yet New York’s cannabis executives have said little about the effect unequal enforcement of marijuana laws has had on communities of color. MedMen is not shying away. “When we reinvest,