Here’s The Recreational Dispensary List,, So you’re hunting for the legit green in the concrete jungle, huh? The simple truth is most of it’s huddled around Union Square.
A crazy number of smoke shops have been springing up like mushrooms in every nook and cranny of our fabulous five boroughs. But as of April 11, the State Cannabis Management Office website lists only four official joints for recreational pot in NYC.
Looks like more are on the horizon, but the current state of affairs has left a lot of New Yorkers scratching their heads over where to score legal weed in the city.
Feeling lost in the bureaucratic haze? No worries, we’ve got your back. Here’s the lowdown:
Who’s got the legit stuff in NYC? As of May 11, these are the official players that the New York Office of Cannabis Management has given the green light:
- Housing Works Cannabis: 750 Broadway, Manhattan
- Smacked Village: 144 Bleecker St., Manhattan
- Union Square Travel Agency: 62 E. 13th St., Manhattan
- Gotham: 3 E. Third St., Manhattan
- Good Grades: 162-03 Jamaica Ave., Queens
But hold onto your bongs, folks. This list could change pretty soon. The state just rubber-stamped 99 new licenses for cannabis dispensaries in a move that’s being hailed as “revolutionary.
Out of these 99 licenses, 21 are for Manhattan, three for Staten Island, nine for The Bronx, 17 for Queens, and four for Brooklyn. Deputy Director of Communications for the Office of Cannabis Management, Aaron Ghitelman, hasn’t spilled the beans on the exact spots for these dispensaries yet. We promise to keep you in the loop once we know more.
Looking for the green outside NYC? Schenectady, Ithaca, and Binghamton are home to legal pot shops too. As per the state’s Office of Cannabis Management, there are only seven legit dispensaries across the entire state.
Wondering about all the smoke shops not making the list? So are we! In a city council testimony, NYC Sheriff Miranda Anthony revealed that around 1,400 illegal dispensaries have popped up in the city.
Mayor Eric Adams promised a major clampdown in Manhattan, and Sheriff Miranda later announced the confiscation of roughly $262,000 worth of goods from unlicensed dealers. But it’s unclear whether the Sheriff’s office has the legal right to enforce this crackdown. As for what the future holds for these rogue shops, your guess is as good as ours.
Thinking about buying from an unlicensed shop? Just know this: there might not be any immediate penalties for buying your stash from an illegal outlet, but you’re expected to abide by New York State marijuana possession laws. That means being 21 and over, not driving under the influence or with open containers in a car, not crossing state lines with products, and sticking to possession limits.
Licensed dispensaries fall under state regulation, ensuring packaging and labels meet stringent public health standards. But with unlicensed shops, it’s a wild west scenario. Quality and age restrictions might go up in smoke.
In fact, a 2022 lab test reported by the New York Times found that products from 20 shops tested positive for nasty stuff like E. coli, salmonella, nickel, and lead. Also, their labels were all over the place.
Curious about when the legal spots popped up? Housing Works Cannabis led the way, opening NYC’s first legal pot shop in December 2022. Smacked Village followed suit in late January, Union Square Travel Agency in February. And most recently, Good Grades – New York’s first female-led dispensary – opened its doors in Queens in March.