What makes CWCBExpo different in 2023 than prior years? This year is the first one where adult-use dispensaries are open in Manhattan! This means conference attendees can further explore the city’s cannabis scene by making a stop at a Manhattan cannabis dispensary.
4 adult-use dispensaries to visit in Manhattan
All adults 21 and over can shop at adult-use dispensaries. As of May 2023, the below four shops are open and accepting customers in Manhattan.
1. Union Square Travel Agency
Union Square Travel Agency is a cannabis dispensary that opened under a license held by a subsidiary of The Doe Fund, a non-profit organization that offers support to homeless and formerly incarcerated men in New York City. Union Square Travel Agency is Manhattan’s third adult-use dispensary, located one block from Union Square Park. The dispensary carries a wide range of New York-born and bred brands, with new products coming in each week.
How to get to Union Square Travel Agency from the Javits Center: Take the 7 train from 34th Street-Hudson Yards to Grand Central/42nd Street, then transfer to the 5 train downtown on the green line to 14th Street/Union Square.
2. Housing Works Cannabis Co.
The Housing Works Cannabis Co., the first adult-use dispensary to open in New York City, is located in the NoHo neighborhood. The dispensary offers a wide range of cannabis products, including flower, pre-rolls, edibles, concentrates, and accessories. Proceeds from Housing Works Cannabis Co. support Housing Works, a NYC non-profit dedicated to providing housing, healthcare, and other resources for people living with HIV/AIDS.
How to get to Housing Works Cannabis Co. from the Javits Center: Take the 7 train from 34th Street-Hudson Yards to Times Square/42nd Street, then transfer to the R/W train downtown and take that to the 8 Street Station.
3. Smacked Village
Smacked Village is New York’s first Black-owned cannabis dispensary. Located in Soho, Smacked Village is owned and operated by Roland Conner, who was previously convicted of cannabis charges due to Prohibition. The store offers a variety of products, including flower, edibles, and vape products, and aims to build a welcoming environment for all.
How to get to Smacked Village from the Javits Center: Take the 7 train from 34th Street-Hudson Yards to Grand Central/42nd Street, then transfer to the 6 train downtown to Bleecker Street.
Opened in May 2023, Gotham is located downtown on the Bowery. Intended for a more bespoke experience, the dispensary is geared toward carrying higher-end products from luxury brands in the space. Gotham partners with the not-for-profit STRIVE, which helps communities with employment training and support.
How to get to Gotham from the Javits Center: Take the 7 train from 34th Street-Hudson Yards to Grand Central/42nd Street, then transfer to the 6 train downtown to Bleecker Street. Walk approximately 5 minutes to 3 East 3rd Street.
4 medical cannabis dispensaries to check out in Manhattan
If you have a New York State medical cannabis card, you can purchase your medicine at one of the four medical cannabis dispensaries in Manhattan. All of these locations are easily accessible by train. Keep in mind, though, that those without a New York State patient ID cannot buy medical cannabis in the stores.
1. Etain Health
Etain Health is a woman-founded and family-run medical cannabis company from New York City. The brand has a few dispensary locations, with one operating in Midtown East. Etain offers medical cannabis products to patients, including flower, capsules, extracts, and lotions, among other options.
The company is committed to advancing social justice issues in the cannabis industry by supporting initiatives that address racial and gender disparities in cannabis. They have a vast selection dedicated to women in this industry, including Potli, Sackville & Co., Chime and Chill, Barbari, and more.
How to get to Etain Health from the Javits Center: Take the 7 train from 34th Street-Hudson Yards to Grand Central/42nd Street, then transfer to the 4 train uptown to 59th street. Walk approximately 3 blocks.
Less than 2 miles from the Javits Center, MedMen’s New York City location resides among one of the poshest shopping districts in America. MedMen is a strictly medical dispensary. However, non-patients are permitted to enter the store and browse their merchandise.
How to get to MedMen from the Javits Center: Take the 7 train from 34th Street-Hudson Yards to 5th Avenue. Walk south approximately 3 blocks.
3. RISE Dispensary NYC
Located at 2 E. 30th St, RISE Dispensary offers medical cannabis for pickup and in-store shopping. RISE operates dispensaries in 14 states, including in the Empire State. The Manhattan location offers a variety of in-house brands spanning a full spectrum of products, including edibles and vapes. The dispensary provides something for just about everyone and strives to create a unique, comfortable environment and mood for patients.
How to get to RISE Dispensary from the Javits Center: Take the 7 train from 34th Street-Hudson Yards to Grand Central/42nd Street. Transfer to the 6 train and take it downtown to 33rd Street. Walk approximately 3 blocks. Alternatively, you can take the M34/Select Bus Service (SBS) from Hudson Yards to the Empire State Building, and walk approximately 4 blocks south.
4. Columbia Care
Columbia Care is one of the original multi state medical cannabis operators. The Manhattan location, at 212 East 14th St., is known for providing a wide variety of high-quality products and consistently expanding its offerings to fit every lifestyle. Columbia Care strives to create an approachable, straightforward shopping experience for cannabis patients of all kinds.
How to get to Columbia Care from the Javits Center: Take the 7 train from 34th Street-Hudson Yards to Grand Central/42nd Street. Transfer to the 5 train and take it downtown to 14th Street/Union Square. Walk approximately 1 avenue to the dispensary.
What to expect when visiting a dispensary in NYC
Make sure you’re prepared before making your trip to a New York City dispensary. Here’s what you should have on hand before you plan to shop.
- Bring a valid ID: This is required to enter all cannabis dispensaries and make a purchase, regardless of whether they are medical or adult-use. Make sure to bring your government-issued ID to prevent any issues. If you’re heading to a medical dispensary, make sure you have your New York State identification card on you.
- Bring cash or a debit card: It’s common for dispensaries to only accept cash or debit cards. Make sure to have those methods of payment with you.
- Check out the menu ahead of time. Many dispensaries publish their menus online, so you can review the selection and know what you want before you head into the store. Take advantage of this convenient feature.
- Ask questions. This is a great opportunity for you to chat with dispensary associates and fellow customers about what they like best about the dispensary experience in the Big Apple.
Are there licensed adult-use dispensaries outside of Manhattan?
There are a few dispensaries outside of Manhattan, though the market has been slow to develop in part due to a court-ordered injunction that prevented cannabis regulators from issuing licenses to adult-use dispensaries in some parts of New York City. In March 2023, a federal appeals court lifted part of the injunction, clearing the way for the market to grow in the other boroughs.
A few days after parts of the injunction were lifted, Good Grades dispensary became the first licensed adult-use dispensary to open outside of Manhattan. Located in Queens at 62 East 13th St., the adult-use location is also New York State’s first woman-owned dispensary, owned by Extasy James and her cousin Michael James, Jr.
While no other adult-use dispensaries have yet opened in New York City, there are additional options for medical patients who want to explore outside of Manhattan. These dispensaries include Sunnyside Medical Cannabis Dispensary in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and Cannabist Dispensary of Brooklyn Heights, also in Brooklyn.
Will more dispensaries open in NYC?
More dispensaries are slated to open in New York City, but the program has been slow to roll out. The number of available cannabis licenses in New York is limited, with a total of 300 retail adult-use licenses available. The New York State Cannabis Control Board approved 99 more dispensary licenses in April 2023, bringing the state’s total to 165. New licenses included locations in Western New York, Central New York, Hudson Valley, and Brooklyn, marking the first to be issued in these regions after the March injunction.
In an effort to prioritize social equity and social justice in the industry, New York State is prioritizing giving dispensary licenses to non-profits and those with prior cannabis convictions. The policy is designed to provide opportunities to those who have been disproportionately impacted by The War on Drugs. More dispensaries are expected to open in the next few months, both in and outside of Manhattan.
Is there cannabis delivery in New York City?
Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) license holders can offer their own delivery services. These license holders may also operate a temporary, delivery-only location for the first 12 months of their license issuance. More information about cannabis delivery can be found in this guidance from the New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM).
Get ready for an exciting week with CWCBExpo!
With the first licensed adult-use dispensary locations officially opened, visitors can explore the city’s industry firsthand. If you’re planning to visit CWCBExpo, don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the best of Manhattan’s cannabis culture while you’re in town. Plan your visit now and get ready for an unforgettable experience!