New York and New Jersey are opening new legal adult-use stores at a rapid pace. New Jersey currently has 79 such shops while New York lags behind with 34. New Jersey got a head start in 2022, followed by New York eight months later. New York also had an injunction that prevented new stores opening from August to December. Over the last few weeks, we visited two stores in New York (Manhattan and the Bronx) and one in New Jersey.
Noted as a “high-end” cannabis dispensary, this new shop in Soho at 412 W. Broadway is owned by photographer Jennifer Tzar. She was arresed for cannabis possession 12 years ago and did time; this allowed her to get the license as a “justice-involved” individual.
The store is small and not particularly inviting with its black-glass front window. Inside is a small floor dotted with display cabinets. It doesn;t have a great selection. Bongs an other items are also avaialble.
I purchased an eighth of GMO from Alchemy Pure for $36, plus $4.58 in taxes. It was average at best.
A.k.a. Hush, this store in the Allerton section of the Bronx at 2460 Williamsbridge Rd. is just the northernmost-borough’s second shop. The owners are cousins, Denis Ozkurt and Levent Ozkurt.
Black glass adorns the front and the room is typically rectangular. What’s different about Hush are the clear jars containing flower. You can see the actual bud and even take a sniff.
I bought an eighth of Gelato from Flower House for $46, plus $5.96 in taxes. Not particularly well-mannicured, the strain’s similar to what I got at Dagmar.
A 20-minute drive from The Bronx (unless you hit major traffic) over the George Washington Bridge, you’ll find this shop in a strip mall in Hackensack at 409 Rt. 17 South. It’s co-owned by Sam Jurist, CEO of the popular portable dabbing device, Focus V.
At 4,000 square feet, it’s a big room. Flower, concentrates and gummies dominate the display cases. There are a lot of great glass pieces and a whole section is devoted to the many colors of Focus V, with some pretty cool replacements for the pyramid-shaped inhaler.
Since there was a 25%-off sale, I splurged a bit on two flower strains (both eighths) and Live Resin Sugar (.5 g). The flower was Grape Bubblegum from Verano and White Grapefruit Cookies #7 from Seed & Strain. The Verano bud was bright green and tight, the S&S flower browner but still quite tasty.
I was charged $108.77, including tax, for the three items.
“When legal stores start closing because they can’t pay the bills, then it will be clear how damaging the illegal stores are for them.”
None of these store were busy, which worries me. I reported this back in December when I visited other new stores in New York City. The big problem, of course, is competition from the unregulated market. Down the block from Dagmar and Hush, these shops appear to be thriving. Around the corner in the NJ mall is a smoke shop. I’m not in favor of raiding all of these stores, but there are clearly too many of them. When legal stores start closing because they can’t pay the bills, then it will be clear how damaging the illegal stores have been for them.
The other problem is the weed. While New Jersey flower is grown indoors, New York’s is not and it shows. The lack of quality has stoners heading to the illegal shops where they can pick up California brands and other products that leak out states like Colorado and Oklahoma. The expected explosion of New York State stores is good news, but the cannabis needs to improve significantly. (Full Story)