New Yorkers can rejoice — a new cannabis store just opened in The Village. So far, it’s only the second weed dispensary that’s legally allowed to sell kush for recreational use (the first one opened last December; it’s also located in Greenwich Village). But here’s another reason to celebrate — Smacked LLC is a black-owned cannabis dispensary!
Here’s what we know about the NYC weed scene.
Cannabis use in the state of New York has been decriminalized for a few years now — but only for medicinal purposes. Just last April 2021, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana use (for people who are aged 21 and above). Since then, countless joints have been passed around by New Yorkers.
Before 2022 ended, the first legal cannabis dispensary, Housing Works Cannabis Co. started their sale of weed — that appropriately opened at 4:20 PM — in various forms; Chris Alexander (Executive Director of New York State of Cannabis Management) was pictured holding the first weed gummy purchase; some of the profits that Housing Works receive will go to their programs — they help people who suffer from HIV and AIDS, as well as the previously incarcerated and homeless.
As admirable as Housing Works’ programs are, their once-monopolized pot dispensary now has a “friendly competition.” The second weed dispensary, Smacked, opened on Bleecker Street and it’s a black-owned cannabis dispensary — its owner is Roland Conner. Ironically, he once served time for marijuana charges. When Smacked opened last week, people lined up to get their hands on recreational weed and Roland is nothing short of thrilled.
36 more cannabis dispensaries are set to open in the next few weeks. A spokesperson for the Office of Cannabis Management said that the yet-to-open cannabis stores’ locations are carefully planned — they want to make sure that these dispensaries aren’t too close to schools.
A black-owned cannabis dispensary is just one business to support. Thanks to the city’s diverse culture, we have fellow New Yorkers (who are also African-Americans) who can sell other types of products and services to us.
Here are other black-owned stores:
Manhattan may be home to the finest booze — but there wasn’t any in its Harlem ‘hood. Until 3 young entrepreneurs opened Harlem Hops. This craft beer bar is 100% African-American and is owned by Stacy Lee, Kevin Bradford, and Kim Harris.
If you’re more of a wine kind of person, Happy Cork has your back. Not only do they have a wide array of spirit collections, they also have one of the most Instagrammable and Snap-worthy stores. But the best part is it’s black-owned — Sunshine Floss (owner of Happy Cork Wine & Spirits) says that their place is “built for the community.”
The clothing and accessories boutique Bien Abyé has one of the most beautiful Creole-inspired items. And their collections are well thought out as the Haitian influences are evident.
If you have a sweet tooth, you can definitely check out There Should Always Be Cake. This Bronx bakeshop has one of the most gorgeous cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. You can order their goods in-store or have them delivered for your next big event that calls for…a cake!
Not all beauty products cater to African-Americans — especially hair products. But Roc-A-Natural is a black-owned business that embraces people’s natural and textured hair. Their president, Dorcas Meyers, states that Roc-A-Natural Cultural Foundation, Inc. aims to empower the diverse culture that all 5 boroughs have.
NYC finally has another place to get their pot from — and it’s a black-owned cannabis dispensary. Now that weed is legal for recreational purposes, many New Yorkers lined up to get their hands on some good kush — and to show support to a black-owned business. But it’s not just Smacked that’s owned by an African-American. There are also other stores and boutiques in every neighborhood that are owned by the said community. Don’t hesitate to show your support!