Despite a Monday opening date, the latest Manhattan legal pot shop had a soft launch Friday night in the Union Square area. Word quickly got around and a line spread down the block from the freshly built-out storefront at 62 E. 13 St. just off of Broadway.
CelebStoner, of course, was there. I skirted the line, shmoozed with some canna-friends and then made my first purchase at the cheeky named Union Square Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store.
This is the third licensed adult-use cannabis dispensary to open in New York City since December. The first store north of the city, Just Breathe, also opened on Feb. 10 in Binghamton.
Just Breathe (Broome Country Urban League) and Union Square Travel Agency (The Doe Fund) are owned by nonprofits as is the first store to open, Housing Works Cannabis Co. The fourth store Smacked Village is justice involved, meaning the owner was impacted by the War on Drugs.
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced in a press release: "We’re building a cannabis industry here in New York State that is equitable and delivers new resources to nonprofits that bring supportive services to our communities. This is the latest milestone in our efforts to grow the industry, while creating jobs and opportunity for those who, historically, have been disproportionately targeted for cannabis infractions.”
The Doe Fund's Union Square store is operated by Harbour Community.
Making a Purchase
Once inside the dispensary, you'll see video screens with menus. Scroll around and pick something out. Or ask for help. I started with flower. A total of 21 strains from Gelato to Royal Kush are sold in grams and eighths (from $10-$60). There are seven different brands - all upstate, mostly Hudson Valley growers: dank. by definition, Fat Nell's, Florist Farms, Flower House, Harney Brothers Cannabis, Hudson Cannabis and Hudson Valley Cannabis. All of the cannabis is sun grown (meaning outdoor).
There are a lot of preroll options, from $18-$56. The brands are Florist Farms, Flower House, Lobo and Outcast Acres.
"Hey New Yorkers, supplement your stashes with some New York legal homegrown."
Vape carts run from $52-$84. The brands are Ayrloom, Florist Farms, Jaunty and Tribe Tokes (CBD).
Various flavored THC and CBD gummies and other edibles, from $10-$40, are available from Ayrloom, Florist Farms, Harney & Sons, oHHo and Pure Vibe.
The limited concentrate supply comes from Blotter at $70 per half gram.
Check out the menu here.
I selected the Kush from Harney Brothers for $54. The taxes added up to $7 ($4.86 NY excise and $2.16 NY sales, rounded down to $7).
At first it looked a little scraggly but after grinding it and smelling it, the aroma poured out. This Kush is a 60% indica with 33.78% THC and no discernable CBD. It's a tasty smoke and hasn't slowed me down yet. Don't fear the indica.
New York cannabis users should go out of their ways to support these new businesses. All the weed is independently grown and sold in stores operated by a majority of people of color. It's awesome to see and to be part of. So, dig into your pockets and pay a little more for now. At least supplement your stashes with some legal New York homegrown.