Since the summer of 2020, a retail space at Broadway and 8th Street in Manhattan that formerly housed a Gap store has sat empty.
Now a new store is set to open, and it’s not just any store: the space will likely be home to New York’s first-ever legal adult-use cannabis dispensary.
“It is our goal to be the first,” said Charles King, chief executive officer of Housing Works, which will operate the dispensary and plans to open for business Dec. 29.
What You Need To Know
- The nonprofit Housing Works expects to open the state’s first licensed adult-use cannabis dispensary
- The retail location at Broadway and 8th Street in Greenwich Village is expected to open Dec. 29
- Housing Works is one of eight nonprofits awarded licenses last month by the state’s Cannabis Control Board, along with 26 individual operators
- The nonprofit STRIVE is planning a dispensary on East 3rd Street in the East Village, and the Doe Fund has identified space at Broadway and 13th Street
Housing Works currently operates a dozen thrift stores and a SoHo bookstore, in addition to its work serving the homeless and those with HIV/AIDS.
A December opening would fulfill the state’s promise of opening the first dispensaries by year’s end.
“We will not on the 29th have the build-out complete, but we will have a number of our display cases and cash registers up and be able to serve people,” King said in an interview. “It’ll probably take us several more weeks after we open to actually complete the build-out.”
Housing Works is one of eight nonprofits awarded licenses last month by the state’s Cannabis Control Board, along with 26 individual operators with past marijuana convictions.
The state Dormitory Authority is helping locate retail space and build out stores for those individual operators, but has so far identified just one location, along 125th Street in Harlem.
In the meantime, three nonprofits have identified their own locations in Councilmember Carlina Rivera’s Manhattan district alone.
“I’m excited that we have New York City’s first adult-use cannabis dispensaries in my district,” Rivera said.
The Housing Works location has won praise from the local community board.
“We had letters of support from houses of worship and community organizations and residents, and people really seem to support it,” said Mar Fitzgerald, a member of Manhattan’s Community Board 2 and chairwoman of its cannabis licensing committee.
Other proposed dispensaries have encountered some friction: STRIVE, another nonprofit, is planning a dispensary on East 3rd Street in the East Village that has come up against some community opposition. The Doe Fund, meanwhile, is planning a store on the corner of Broadway and 13th Street.
All three non-profits have a history of serving the formerly incarcerated, a qualifying criteria set out by state regulators. Housing Works says it will provide jobs and career training in the cannabis industry.
“This is really through a pro-cannabis equity lens, and someone like Housing Works is really the right person, the right entity and organization to start us off,” Rivera said.