Inside New York City’s first legal pot shop

January 4, 2023

All photos courtesy of GARY GERSHOFF/WIRE IMAGE.

The first legal cannabis dispensary in the state of New York opened in Manhattan last week. Run by the nonprofit Housing Works, the store, located near Astor Place at 750 Broadway, currently offers products from six New York-based companies, including pre-rolled joints, edibles, vape pens, and flower. When sales officially launched last Thursday, the line to get into the dispensary wrapped around the corner, with eager customers waiting for hours to shop.

About 100 products are available for purchase at the store, with more items expected to be sold in the coming weeks. All proceeds from dispensary sales will go to Housing Works, which provides housing and health care services, legal advocacy, and job opportunities to low-income New Yorkers. The group is also known for its chain of thrift stores.

Housing Works Cannabis Co. is hoping to earn $1 million in its first year. The store, which is open daily, has launched a website with all of its products listed, with online ordering and delivery expected in the future. Products range in price from $16 to $95 and between $40 and $60 for “one-eighth of an ounce of smokable weed,” according to the New York Times, which reports that those prices are “far above street rates.” As of now, Housing Works is only accepting cash.

Charles King, the president of Housing Works, justified the higher price in an interview with the Times.

“We are not selling adulterated products,” King said.

Although Gov. Kathy Hochul indicated 20 stores would open in the state by the end of 2022, Housing Works Cannabis Co. remains the only store at the moment. So far, the state has issued 36 retail licenses.

New York’s first dispensaries will be opened by business operators, or close family members, who have a cannabis conviction or non-profit organizations that serve people affected by the “unequal enforcement of cannabis prohibition.”

To qualify, nonprofits need to have at least one justice-involved board member and create job opportunities for those with a marijuana conviction.


Photos courtesy of GARY GERSHOFF/WIRE IMAGE.

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  1. H

    This article sheds light on an exciting and historic moment in New York City as it welcomes its first legal cannabis dispensary, Housing Works Cannabis Co. It’s heartwarming to see the long line of eager customers waiting to shop, highlighting the high demand for legalized cannabis products. What’s particularly commendable is that the proceeds from sales will support Housing Works’ noble mission of providing housing, healthcare, legal advocacy, and job opportunities to low-income New Yorkers, making this venture about more than just profit. The article effectively conveys the significance of this milestone and the positive impact it could have on both the community and the cannabis industry in New York. Kudos to the author for sharing this uplifting story!