Just Breathe., a hemp and THC shop on Court Street, is set to become one of Binghamton's first marijuana dispensaries in the city's history.

The shop's owner, Damien Cornwell was just one of 36 people and/or organizations that were granted dispensary licenses by New York state on Monday -- an opportunity that Cornwell is honored to have.

"Man it's really really exciting, it kind of reminds me of the San Francisco gold rush, in the sense that you're running out into the unknown, planting your stake down, and hoping that you can change the world and make it a better place through all of the things you plan on doing."

It's not only the prospect of the business that intrigues Cornwell, but he believes it'll be good for the city as well.

"You know people making a trip to come to one of these stores, well they're going to stop and going to eat, and they're going to walk around and go into a department store, it's going to become an outing-- which is something that's really really needed in these smaller communities."  

The job possibilities expand beyond just retail -- cultivation, processing and farmers will all benefit too.

"There's a whole world of opportunity for people that don't even know that they can work in it, and that's why this is so important, this is just an entry point, that can be really exciting and beneficial, to lots of folks."

Cornwell got the license in part due to his work with The Urban League, a social justice organization he's been in a leadership role with for around 15 years. It provides workforce development, family services, youth support, and more.

"Because we really do have a workforce initiative approach, we want to build wealth from the grassroots up and so this model allows us to generate revenue and still reinvest it back into our community, while lessening the burden on the tax base."

He hopes to have his retail marijuana sales begin after the first of the new year -- products that he says can be trusted, as they'll all be processed by a state-permitted laboratory, which is based in Pennsylvania.