Showing posts with label smoke shops. Show all posts
Showing posts with label smoke shops. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Report: Incoming legal cannabis dispensary drawing opposition on 3rd Street

Photo by Steven

One of the city's next legal cannabis dispensaries is opening in April at 3 E. Third St., just east of the Bowery.

According to published reports, the dispensary coming to the ground-floor retail of this newish condoplex is Gotham, whose license holder is the nonprofit Strive, which "provides job training and other services to the formerly incarcerated." The organization was founded in East Harlem in 1984. (Strive is one of eight nonprofits in the state to receive marijuana licenses this past November.) 

The location has reportedly drawn opposition from management at Project Renewal, which operates a men's shelter and an in-patient substance abuse treatment on the block. 

Per NY1:
"Our clients come and go from this program on a daily basis," said Gabriel Woodhouse, program director with Project Renewal. "It's literally within sight line. I mean, it's right across the street from the front door of our program."
Technically, the restaurant Gemma and the Bowery Hotel is directly across the street from 3 E. Third St.

In addition, Community Board 3 passed a resolution stating that it would only approve the license at a different location. (This CB3 decision is only advisory.)

In any event, Gotham's management team wasn't having any of this. Joanne Wilson, manager of the project, told NY1 that they are moving forward with plans to open this spring.

As NY1 points out, the dispensary is subject to strict state regulations with limited signage (unlike the garish illegal operations), and cannabis products won't be visible outside the store.
"There will not be smoke that's being pumped out on the street. There won't be music that's being pumped out in the street," Wilson said. "Yes, there will be people, and there will be people shopping. But it's not anything but just a store."
The Housing Works Cannabis Co. store — New York's first legal recreational marijuana market — opened to great fanfare and long lines on Dec. 29 on Broadway at Eighth Street in a former Gap retail space. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

The future of the unlicensed weed vendors

The Housing Works Cannabis Co. store — New York's first legal recreational marijuana market — opened to great fanfare and long lines this past Thursday on Broadway at Eighth Street in a former Gap retail space. 

So what might happen in the months ahead to the numerous unlicensed sellers who have popped up all over the East Village and every other city neighborhood? 

Curbed had a piece on this topic the other day titled: "The Weed Bodega Was Beautiful While It Lasted." 
[P]er New York's Office of Cannabis Management, the era of the weed bodega — the tacky, snack-filled corner-store purveyor, like the regular bodega's stoner cousin — is about to be over. Instead, the state's legal weed retailers will be subject to an extremely long list of regulations that includes rules on everything from location to security to aesthetics. 

The compliance requirements will undoubtedly be onerous and expensive for many of the operators vying for licenses, but the décor rules in particular seem designed to kill the gray-market upstarts that flooded the city in the beautiful, wild period between decriminalization and the rollout of official licenses. 

It's as if regulators walked into a humble weed bodega — Cloudy Vibez, Weed 4 U, Kannabis Korner — and banned everything they saw: "cartoons," "bubble-type or other cartoon-like font," "bright colors," "neon," the terms "candy" or "candies," "kandy" or "kandeez," and "symbols, images, characters, public figures, phrases, toys, or games" commonly marketed to people under 21. 

Also barred are signs or business names "depicting cannabis, cannabis products, or the imagery or action of smoking or vaping." As the city begins to enforce these rules in earnest, the welcoming visage of a rasta Alvin the Chipmunk will begin to disappear from our streetscape. 
Meanwhile, the city is cracking down on the illegal shops ... not to mention the sidewalk vendors, as seen on St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue. 

This past Dec. 7, we received multiple EVG reader tips about busts underway at East Village shops (photo below by Derek Berg) ...
As Gothamist reported, the Sheriff's Interagency Enforcement Task Force has been cracking down on the shops citywide. 

Per the site: 
The task force is led by the sheriff's office — the enforcement arm of the city's Department of Finance — and also includes the police department, the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, and the state Office of Cannabis Management.

Mayor Eric Adams announced the creation of the task force in mid-December. In a two-week span, officials said at the time, the task force had inspected 53 storefronts across the city and seized more than 100,000 illegal products worth about $4 million. Officials also issued 500 civil violations and 66 criminal summonses over that time, Sheriff Anthony Miranda said. All told, the city has conducted 248 store inspections, including 23 in December, through Dec. 29.
Another factor in the potential demise of the unlicensed shops: a survey (results here) conducted by the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association found the presence of potentially deadly E. coli, salmonella and pesticides in many products from 20 unlicensed stores that publicly advertise selling marijuana, as Bloomberg reported

As the Post noted, the study also found that there are "likely tens of thousands of illicit cannabis businesses currently out of bodegas, smoke shops, or other retail locations" that are licensed to sell other products. 
 
So as the enforcement becomes stricter and the fines pile up, what will the owners of the unlicensed businesses do moving forward — especially if their shops, many looking like a set-piece from "Bullet Train," don't meet the state's requirements? What kind of empty storefront surplus might be upon us in the months ahead if smoke shops don't open in every vacant space?

Top photo from Dec. 29 by Steven

Monday, December 5, 2022

1st Avenue old-timer Royal Bangladesh Indian Restaurant is being replaced by — obviously — a smoke shop

There's a new era for 93 First Ave. just south of Sixth Street. 

A smoke shop is taking the storefront on the lower level, space that Royal Bangladesh Indian Restaurant had from 1978 to late this past spring. (We first reported on the closing here.) 

Smokers Basement (please leave your thoughts on apostrophes in the comments) is the latest entrant in an already-crowded smoke-related market. (Exotic snacks too, maybe?) It appears Smokers will only be leasing the spot on the left.

For decades, hosts from the three restaurants at the address — Royal Bangladesh, Milon and Panna II — theatrically tried to get passersby to eat in their establishment, insisting that their food is superior. 

Milon closed at the end of 2020. While the sign remains, Panna II serves from both upper-level dining rooms (adding more to the urban legend that the three restaurants shared a kitchen!). 

Given how quickly the tacky-looking smoke shops are opening, it wouldn't be inconceivable to have three weed-related businesses here shortly... with bud hosts out front saying that they have the best CBD flower.

Thanks to the EVG reader for this tip!

Friday, December 2, 2022

Holy smokes! 2 more unlicensed weed shops pop up in the East Village

Photos by Steven

Another day, another few smoke shops setting up for business in the East Village. 

Up top, we have Giggles Convenience (so many smoke shops, so few names left!), coming sooner than you think on First Avenue, just below Fourth Street. Signage includes a skeleton in a hat smoking from a bong.

And on Ninth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue, Pride Smokes is offering "foreign snacks" and various items you can find in the other few dozen shops that have debuted of late...
Late last month, 28 individuals and businesses and eight nonprofits were designated Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses by the state Office of Cannabis Management ... for a total of 36 licenses statewide, per published reports

The Times had a piece last week titled: "How New York City Became a Free-for-All of Unlicensed Weed."

Excerpt! 
The sleek dispensaries and tacky bodegas are part of an explosion of unlicensed cannabis shops that have opened in New York over the past year as part of a rush to cash in on the state's legalization of cannabis. Now on the eve of the launch of the state's legal market, the authorities face growing pressure to address the shops, which have created confusion among everyone from tourists to police officers. 
And... 
The Police Department explained in an email to The New York Times that, in its view, the legalization law does not give officers the authority to make seizures or arrests when they see cannabis displayed or to shut down unlicensed shops. "The law only provides an enforcement mechanism if an actual sale is observed," its public-information office said.

Meanwhile, a survey (results here) conducted by the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association found the presence of potentially deadly E. coli, salmonella and pesticides in many products from 20 unlicensed stores that publicly advertise selling marijuana, as Bloomberg reported

As the Post noted, the study also found that there are "likely tens of thousands of illicit cannabis businesses currently out of bodegas, smoke shops, or other retail locations" that are licensed to sell other products. 

Monday, November 21, 2022

Where you'll be able to find the Goodies on the Bowery

Another day, another cannabis-related shop opening in the neighborhood. 

The Goodies Shop is the latest entry ... coming soon to 324 Bowery near Bleecker... signage arrived last week...
This piece from Fortune on Friday has more about the city's unlicensed shops popping up all over the place.

The Goodies Shop takes over the space from Snack Bowery, which closed late last year.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Noted, good-God-not-another-one edition

Coming soon, midblock to the north side of 10th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue — Galactic Smokers. 

Thanks to Steven for the photo

Monday, November 14, 2022

Hey, what might be opening in this empty 1st Avenue storefront?

Coming soon signage is up for a SMOKE SHOP at 213 First Ave. between 12th Street and 13th Street. (Thanks to Pinch for the pic!) 

OK, what else is there to say? 

The smoke shop is taking over the storefront from Coddiwomple, the sandwich shop that opened and closed after a few weeks in business earlier this year.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Another day, another cannabis operation arrives

Signage is now up for a Recreational Cannabis Dispensary on the SE corner of First Avenue and 11th Street. (Thanks to Lola Sáenz and Steven for sending photos yesterday.) 

While the shop isn't open just yet, it's the latest weed-friendly storefront to open in the East Village (and NYC) in recent months. (And we haven't mentioned the new one now on the NW corner of First Avenue and 10th Street.)

Of course, none of these operations are legal just yet. 

As Emily Stewart wrote in a piece for Vox last week titled "New York seems to have a weed store on every corner. None of them are legal.": 
New York City’s crisp autumn air has a distinct scent to it, and this year that scent is weed. Many of the city streets have a fresh look to them, too — marijuana and cannabis products are for sale, out in the open, everywhere. New York legalized recreational marijuana in the spring of 2021, but the state is still in the process of doling out licenses to legally sell it, which makes the situation ... confusing.
And... 
 "None of them are compliant, none of them are allowed," said Aaron Ghitelman, a spokesperson for New York state’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), in an interview. "They're jumping the gun."
Meanwhile, as Gothamist reported, nearly 1,000 cannabis entrepreneurs are competing for New York's first 150 dispensary licenses ... "all of which will be reserved for people with past marijuana convictions or their family members."

As for this corner of 11th Street and First Avenue, the last retail tenant was Eleven Consignment Boutique, which closed amid a legal battle in November 2019.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Zee Convenience & Smoke debuts on Avenue A

Zee Convenience & Smoke is up and running now on the SE corner of Avenue A and 13th Street. (Thanks to Steven for the top photo.)

The signage notes that available goods here include CBD/hemp, beverages, e-cigarettes, snacks and hookah.... and, per this interior photo by Lola Sáenz, paper towels and cigars...
We understand that ownership here operates other shops, perhaps Zee Smoke & Convenience (not to be confused with Zee Convenience & Smoke) on 14th Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.

Caffè Bene closed here in December after nearly six years in business.

And as previously noted ... back in May, the owners of Keybar on 13th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue were looking to relocate here, but the application didn't make it past Community Board 3. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

1 guess on what is coming to this empty storefront on Avenue A and 13th Street

Activity, including the installation of glass cigar cases, continues inside the storefront on the SE corner of Avenue A and 13th Street... a worker on the scene said it will be a — SMOKE SHOP. 

The business is expected to be open in the next few weeks. Until then, you can try one of the other two dozen smoke shops in the neighborhood.

Back in May, the owners of Keybar on 13th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue were looking to relocate here, but the application didn't make it past Community Board 3.

Caffè Bene closed here in December after nearly six years in business... until 2014, the space was Kim's Laundromat & Cleaners for some 30 years. 

Thank you to EVG reader Erika for the photo and tip!

Monday, August 15, 2022

A smoke shop for this block of 4th Street

The Green Apple Smoke Shop is now open on Fourth Street just west of Avenue B... in a long vacant storefront (previous tenants, some years back, included a hair salon and psychic).

The local smoke shop openings seem to be averaging about 2-3 a month of late...

H/T Stacie Joy!

Monday, July 25, 2022

Meanwhile, signage for Runtz Tobacco arrives on 1st Avenue

Another day, another smoke shop reveal... this time for Runtz Tobacco at 14 First Ave. between First Street and Second Street. (Thanks to the EVG reader for the pic!) 

As far as we can recall, the last tenant in this storefront was the salon One Plus One (not to be confused with the bar One and One a storefront away). 

Friday, July 22, 2022

Today in grand openings

An EVG reader shared this photo today... outside 44 E. First St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue where the Exotic Green House smoke shop has opened... (and one day we may actually list every new smoke shop that has opened in the East Village the past 3-4 months).

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Puff & Puff Convenience debuts on Avenue C

The neighborhood's latest smoke shop is at 153 Avenue C... where Puff & Puff Convenience is now up and smoking running here between Ninth Street and 10th Street.

P&P takes the space over from F&M Slice Pizza, which shuttered in March 2021 after 10 years of budget slices.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Wood you believe another smoke shop is opening

A business called Wood Vibez (!!!) is coming soon to 516 E. Sixth Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Given the water pipe on the signage, this is presumably another smoke shop... and not, say, a furniture store or woodworking shop or something related to the slang usage of wood. 😬

As you know, smoke shops have been popping up all over the neighborhood in recent weeks, though not on this block. 

Monday, June 6, 2022

New smoke shop called Smoke Shop debuts on 3rd Avenue

If there's an empty storefront, then there's a smoke shop just waiting to open... And over on Third Avenue between Ninth Street and 10th Street, a smoke shop apparently just called Smoke Shop is now open...
... with a velvet rope for a more upscale bong-shopping experience...
There was a storefront shuffle here, with the UPS store moving over a space... Smoke Shop then took the former UPS.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Another smoke shop for 14th Street

A new smoke shop recently opened (maybe 6 weeks ago?) at 329 E. 14th St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

The signage for K & H Convenience was only installed last week (thanks Pinch!) ... the shop has the usual items popping up at like-minded businesses around the neighborhood — hookah, vapes, snacks, soda, etc.

These are all things you can find directly across 14th Street at the Ali Baba Smoke Shop...
... or a few storefronts to the west at newish The Tree Shop NYC...
Interesting to see how these shops have evolved... the signage for PJ's Grocery, a block to the west on 14th Street, still touts Sports Cards, Comic Cards, Phone Cards and Cigars...

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Another day, another smoke shop reveal in the East Village

In 2022, no one will be able to say the neighborhood is lacking in places to buy smokes and snacks.

Pinch shares this recent reveal at 223 E. 14th St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue... where signage is up for Smokers Zone 1. The signage promises a smoke shop, snacks and drinks, and vaporizers.

This marks what seems like the 87th* smoke shop to open here in the last year.

This storefront has been vacant since Fat Cat Kitchen closed in late 2019 after 2.5 years in business.

* not an accurate number!

Monday, January 10, 2022

LES Convenience is coming soon for your convenience on Avenue A

The proliferation of smoke-snack shops continues. 

Signage for LES Convenience arrived late last week at 105 Avenue A between Sixth Street and Seventh Street. The signage promises an ATM, snacks, drinks, hookah and more. 

No. 105 was previously home to Hub Thai, which moved to 50 Avenue A this past March

LES Convenience will mark the third deli-snack-smoke establishment to open on the west side of Avenue A within three blocks. A more-upscale looking deli-market is coming to 93 Avenue A ... while a mystery deli-market is said to be in the works for 123 Avenue A. 

Meanwhile, I would have been happy if East Village Farms had never vanished at 100 Avenue A.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Holy smokes! Another accessories store setting up shop, this time on 2nd Street

Signage is up now for Manhattan Smoke Shop here on Second Street east of First Avenue... making it the fifth or sixth like-minded store to open in the neighborhood in the past few months (here and here and here and here, for example). 

And the business is a few feet away from the Deli & Smoke Shop...
... though they distinguish themselves by offering beer and Boar's Head — and White Claw Variety Packs. 

The Manhattan Smoke Shop takes the place of a short-lived taco shop. (Or was it a hookah place?)