Mount Vernon teacher teams up with son and friend to legally sell cannabis-based products
A Westchester elementary school teacher is bringing recreational cannabis to your doorstep.
Fourth-grade teacher Beth Smith, her son and some close friends are taking delivery orders for flower, edibles drinks and vapes from all over Westchester County.
They're off to a heck of a start.
"We've sold a tremendous amount," said Beth Smith, of Purple Owl Dispensary and Delivery.
The team was awarded one of New York's first cannabis retail licenses through the state's social justice licensing program.
People who have been convicted of cannabis-related offenses were moved to the front of the line to make good on the hardship they faced.
"It was a year of going back and forth to court, going back and forth to court, taking days off from work," says Smith.
Co-owner Juan Alverio has four violations on his record.
"What I would like to do is go back to the cops and be like, thank you...for letting me have a business now. That's what I'd like to do," he says.
Now, they're all doing this together, with Smith, the long-time reading teacher at the helm.
She's not too concerned about how this looks to people.
"I think overall, because it's now legalized, I think that's changed a lot of the outlook. I think people are thinking about it in a different perspective now," says Smith.
Smith says delivery is just the beginning.
The team at Purple Owl plans to open a full-service dispensary in downtown White Plains in just a few more weeks.
To resolve a lawsuit that was blocking Purple Owl and other companies from operating, the state's Office of Cannabis Management agreed to suspend new applications for the program until April.
In the meantime, the more than 400 companies like Purple Owl, which were already licensed, are finally starting to open their doors.
Smith plans to keep teaching while running the business.