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

Saturday, February 10, 2024

A smash & grab at the Grab & Go on Avenue B

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

It was more like Smash & Grab at the newish (and unlicensed) Grab & Go Convenience at 23 Avenue B. 

Last Sunday morning, someone smashed the front door here between Second Street and Third Street...
A store employee told me the thief stole some weed (mostly prerolls) and "not too much stuff" but was "caught already." 

Meanwhile, there's plywood treatment at the space, now with a rolldown gate in place as of Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Signage alert: Kaliiva, a cannabis dispensary for Avenue B

Photo by Salim 

Signage arrived late last week for Kaliiva at 11 Avenue B between Houston and Second Street, the latest (currently unlicensed) cannabis dispensary for the neighborhood. (We mentioned this pending arrival on Dec. 19.) 

This will be the first NYC shop for the Washington, D.C.-based business offering "premium edibles, flower, vapes and pre-rolls."

Kaliiva takes over the storefront in this Steve Croman-owned building after the departure of Raul's Barber Shop, which held forth for six decades. Raul Velez Sr. decided to retire in 2022 at age 81 (and after a rent hike). His nephews opened a new spot at 256 E. Third St. between Avenue B and Avenue C. 

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Former illegal cannabis dispensary now for rent on 1st Avenue and 11th Street

For rent signs arrived this past week at the storefront on the SE corner of First Avenue and 11th Street. (H/T Steven.)

This had been the Recreational Plus Cannabis Dispensary, an illegal shop that had been busted several times. (A Restraining Order was visible inside the front window here at 180 First Ave.)

The business' Yelp page still notes, "Recreational Plus East Village is temporarily closed. Scheduled to reopen on January 1, 2024.") 

The signage arrived for Recreational Plus in October... it was later removed, though the shop remained in operation.

The previous retail tenant here was Eleven Consignment Boutique, which closed amid a legal battle in November 2019.

This building, with the dual Michael Jackson murals, is also for sale

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

The new smoke shops of lower Avenue B

Photos by Stacie Joy 

Grab & Go Convenience is now open at 23 Avenue B between Second Street and Third Street. 

It's a full-service smoke shop offering flower, cartridges, edibles, prerolls, lozenges/candies, etc. Plus, tobacco products. And, uh, sex toys. (We said full service!)
Meanwhile, a smoke shop is also in the works for 9-11 Avenue B, one block to the south... in space that was, for six decades, Raul's Barber Shop. 

These shops will compete with Green Line, which opened in late October at 42 Avenue B between Third Street and Fourth Street...
The 9-11 Avenue B and 42 Avenue B spaces are in buildings owned by Steve Croman.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Illegal cannabis dispensary seeing blue this morning

Photos by William Klayer 

A quick note via the EVG tipline... law enforcement officials were spotted inside the Recreational Plus Cannabis Dispensary on the SE corner of First Avenue and 11th Street. 

A Restraining Order is also posted on the front window here at 180 First Ave. (FYI: This building is also for sale.) 

From the street, the shop appears to be empty. (The business' Yelp page notes, "Recreational Plus East Village is temporarily closed. Scheduled to reopen on January 1, 2024.") 

The signage arrived for it back in October... it was later removed, though the shop remained in operation.

This happens to be one block north of Go Green Dispensary, where on Tuesday, local elected officials came together, spoke out against unlicensed cannabis shops in Lower Manhattan, and called on landlords to stop renting to these businesses.

Like Go Green Dispensary, this operation is close to multiple schools (East Side Community School and PS 19 East Village Community School) and the mosque on the NE corner of 11th Street and First Avenue.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Local elected officials call out landlords renting to unlicensed cannabis shops

Image via Harvey Epstein's office 

Local elected officials came together yesterday to speak out against unlicensed cannabis shops in Lower Manhattan and call on landlords to stop renting to these businesses. 

Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, Councilmember Carlina Rivera and Sen. Brian Kavanagh gathered with community members outside Go Green Dispensary on the SE corner of 10th Street and First Avenue. Officials pointed out that this dispensary is close to multiple schools (East Side Community School and PS 19 East Village Community School) and the mosque on 11th Street and First Avenue. 

According to officials, legal cannabis dispensaries — licensed by the New York State Office of Cannabis Management — are prohibited from operating within 500 feet of a school or 200 feet of a religious institution.

As of August, a new city law that holds commercial landlords responsible for renting storefronts to unlicensed cannabis shops is in effect. 

Introduction 1001-B, known as Local Law 107 of 2023, prohibits owners of commercial spaces from knowingly leasing to unlicensed sellers of marijuana or tobacco products, imposing fines of up to $10,000 on landlords for violations. 

During the rally, Epstein announced that he was sending letters to the landlords of 22 shops stating their renters were selling cannabis illegally and advising them of their responsibilities under the law and penalties for failure to comply.

"Unlicensed cannabis shops are a threat to consumers, the legal market, and our entire community,” Epstein said. “As a supporter of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, I believe that the sale of cannabis should be used as an instrument of social justice, allowing individuals who have suffered the impact of criminalization to enter the market legally and receive priority status when applying for their licenses. Unlicensed shops like these perilously undermine that goal while also evading safety requirements and taxes."

Representatives from Housing Works Cannabis Co., NYC's first legal dispensary that opened last December on Broadway at Eighth Street, were also present to talk about the negative impact these businesses have on the legal market.

"Currently operated illegal cannabis businesses are supported by multiple out-of-state and international investors. These investors can afford to pay the fines and renegotiate terms for retail space," said Anthony Feliciano, vice president of the advocacy department at Housing Works. "Additionally, landlords repeatedly allow their commercial storefronts to be re-opened by either the same tenant or a new renter after being seized by the sheriff's department. We need more administrative mechanisms and legislation designed to get the landlord's attention."

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Everything's gone Green

We are behind in noting all (and there are a lot) the recent comings and goings with smoke shops, like which ones closed, which ones closed and reopened, and which ones closed and reopened under a new name.

The smoke shop opened up next to Ray's Candy Store on Avenue A near Seventh Street nearly a month ago, though the signage for Green World only just arrived.

The sidewalk board (pic from Oct. 31, before the new signage but with festive balloonage) shows items for sale including flowers, edibles and pre-rolls...
The business was, until May, known as East Village New Deli ... then they returned in June without the deli counter... only to close again and reopen as another exotic snack shop/weed shop. 

Thursday, October 26, 2023

A bust at LA Convenience on Avenue A

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy

Last night around 9, a multi-agency raid took place at LA Convenience at 105 Avenue A between Sixth Street and Seventh Street. 

Officers confiscated a large quantity of products (labels included vapes/cartridges and edibles/candies) ... and left the smoke shop with more than 12 bags of items...
The shop, formerly LES Convenience, has been busted several times this year... and eventually reopens.
As previously reported, as of August, a new city law is now in effect that holds commercial landlords responsible for renting storefronts to unlicensed cannabis shops. 

Introduction 1001-B, known as Local Law 107 of 2023, prohibits owners of commercial spaces from knowingly leasing to unlicensed sellers of marijuana or tobacco products, imposing fines of up to $10,000 on landlords for violations. 

Monday, October 9, 2023

A cannabis dispensary is the first tenant for this newly created retail space on 7th Street

Signage is up now for Buy Me Flowers, a cannabis dispensary, at 102 E. Seventh St. between Avenue A and First Avenue. 

This is the very first retail tenant for the space, which for decades served as a residence. 

This appears to be another unlicensed cannabis operation. (You can find a list of regulated, licensed dispensaries here.)

In August, the city put in place a new law to curb illegal stores: 
Introduction 1001-B, now known as Local Law 107 of 2023, prohibits owners of commercial spaces from knowingly leasing to unlicensed sellers of marijuana or tobacco products, imposing fines of up to $10,000 on landlords for violations. 
Steve Croman is the building's landlord. (A smoke shop is also on the way in one of his retail spaces on Avenue B.)

As previously notedAnthony Pisano lived in this converted storefront full of antiques and whimsical curiosities for nearly 40 years. He died in 2018 at age 86. Check out some interior pics from his home here.  

Monday, October 2, 2023

House of Munchies debuts on 1st Avenue

The former smoke shop at 111 First Ave. south of Seventh Street recently transformed into House of Munchies, a "420 friendly" establishment offering a variety of accessories and snacks ... similar to the ones offered at other smoke shops, including the one a storefront away on the corner. 

No. 111 was previously Village Smoke & Vape, and before that, 111 Convenience Store ... until late 2012, it was 111 Convenience Store, which sold newspapers and postcards out front... with a variety of Polish-language periodicals.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Smoke shop comings and goings

For those of you keeping track at home... NoHo Green Oasis is now open at 356 Bowery between Fourth Street and Great Jones.

The shop sells the usual — drinks, exotic snacks and smoking accessories. (No cannabis-related products.)

As far as we can recall, this storefront — directly next to the incoming 21-story office building — has been vacant for years. (Hecho en Dumbo was next door at No. 354.)

Meanwhile!

St. Marks Convenience & Smoke Shop at 103 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue has closed... for rent signs now hang on the storefront (thanks to Steven for the photo).
Among other things, the unlicensed shop sold cannabis-related items and had drawn the scrutiny of law enforcement officials...  who busted the business multiple times.

There are also new smoke shops on 14th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue and Third Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Noted

Photo by Steven

Well then!
Signage went up yesterday at 32 St. Mark's Place for a new business called Qik N E Z Convenience here between Second Avenue and Third Avenue. 

Given the Weed Greens Color Scheme palette — North Texas Green (#059033), Dollar Bill (#93CB56), Palm Leaf (#7BAA47) and Mughal Green (#355A20) — we're going with a cannabis-related business for the storefront. 

Or maybe one that just sells smoking accessories and exotic snacks. 

Smoke shops pop up faster than they get busted or go out of business. (There are two other new smoke shops that we haven't even mentioned yet.) 

A new city law recently went into effect that holds commercial landlords responsible for renting storefronts to unlicensed cannabis shops. Introduction 1001-B, known as Local Law 107 of 2023, prohibits owners of commercial spaces from knowingly leasing to unlicensed sellers of marijuana or tobacco products, imposing fines of up to $10,000 on landlords for violations. 

This small storefront was most recently Suki Japanese Kitchen, which closed earlier in the summer.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Unlicensed East Village cannabis shops raided again

A story that made headlines this past week: As of Monday, a new city law is now in effect that holds commercial landlords responsible for renting storefronts to unlicensed cannabis shops. 

Introduction 1001-B, known as Local Law 107 of 2023, prohibits owners of commercial spaces from knowingly leasing to unlicensed sellers of marijuana or tobacco products, imposing fines of up to $10,000 on landlords for violations. 

The legislation followed a Council oversight hearing on the growing problem of unlicensed smoke shops across the city. 

Meanwhile, there were more multi-agency raids on Friday... local targets included, again, LA Convenience (formerly LES Convenience) at 105 Avenue A between Sixth Street and Seventh Street... (photos by Stacie Joy)...
... and the Saint Marks Convenience & Smoke Shop, 103 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue... (photos by Steven)...
Both shops have been targeted in the past, and they both are always able to reopen... not sure how any business can continue to sustain the raids, confiscations, legal fees, etc. 

Friday, August 4, 2023

Like a breath of fresh Urban Air on 1st Avenue

Photo by Steven

The former Beer & Smoke Shop at 149 First Ave. at Ninth Street has been undergoing a transformation in the last week... and the new signage arrived yesterday for Urban Air Convenience (or maybe UrbanAir Convenience).

Given the sign's smoke motif... and the smoke emanating from the disembodied lips, this is likely a smoke shop ... and not, say, a convenience store selling Air Jordans or fresh urban air for those wildfire days.

The storefront was previously the Hague Convenience Store for several years... (and before, something useful like a tailor's shop). 

Friday, June 23, 2023

A Smoke House for Avenue A

Photos by Stacie Joy 

Updated: The shop opened on June 24

A weed-smoke shop called Smoke House is in the works for the smallish retail space on Avenue A between Third Street and Fourth Street... previously part of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater's East Village outpost, UCBeast.
The new shop is nestled between Two Boots and O'Flaherty's, the newish gallery-performance space. 

This arrival comes as New York State has ramped up cracking down on unlicensed cannabis shops in NYC.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Convenience Tobacco rises from the ashes of Runtz Tobacco; NYPD takes note

This past week, Convenience Tobacco debuted with a grand opening at 14 First Ave. between First Street and Second Street. 

You may recall that this space was previously Runtz Tobacco, one of four unlicensed East Village cannabis shops that the city attempted to shut down this year. Runtz was permanently shuttered as of early March. 

Meanwhile, the new establishment is using the Runtz Tobacco sidewalk signage. As the Daily News reports, the NYPD has taken note. (Or took note after a reporter from the Daily News called.)

Per the News
According to the NYPD, the shop is going against the court order that shut Runtz down.

"They are currently in violation of a court order to remain closed to the public," an NYPD spokesperson said of the shop in a statement. "It is anticipated that the premises will be closed again soon. If not, we will seek to get a full closure order from the court."

NYPD intends to resolve the case with a settlement, the NYPD spokesperson added. 
And... 
Attempts by the Daily News to reach Runtz's owner, lawyer and landlord were unsuccessful and an employee at the shop said she wasn’t able to answer questions about the store.
It had been a challenging debut for Runtz. Armed robbers reportedly took them for $5,400 shortly after opening this past August.

Monday, March 6, 2023

City and state officials continue cracking down on illegal smoke shops

Top 2 photos by Stacie Joy; others by EVG

Law enforcement officials returned to two East Village shops to slap them with restraining orders to prohibit them from selling unlicensed cannabis.

A restraining order now hangs on the storefront at Saint Marks Convenience & Smoke Shop, 103 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue. The retaining order notes that the "unlicensed sale of cannabis" is prohibited...
The shop remains in business, selling smoking accessories and exotic flavors of snacks.

Similar legal notices are affixed to the front of Runtz at 14 First Ave. between First Street and Second Street...
Here, though, there's a "partially closed" sign ... access is permitted to tenants, the landlord, employees, contractors, etc., "only for inspections, repairs, modifications, removal of personal property" ...
The shop appears to be permanently shuttered. (And it had been challenging for Runtz. Armed robbers reportedly took them for $5,400 shortly after opening this past August.)

Both businesses were the target of a multi-agency sweep on Feb. 9, a show of force after Mayor Adams and Manhattan DA Bragg announced that they had joined forces, cracking down on illegal storefront operations by targeting the landlords. 

In other cannabis-related news, the storefront for the cannabis lifestyle brand CannaCulture NYC has been closed for the past month at 118 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue. Someone covered the windows and painted over the façade at the shop, which opened last July...
Last Thursday, the Cannabis Control Board doubled the number of social equity licenses but didn't have an update on a timeline for opening up the broader licensing process for general retail outlets, Gothamist reported

Per Gothamist: "It could be several months before general business owners who don't qualify for a CAURD license get a chance to set up shop in the new legal cannabis market."

Monday, February 27, 2023

Noted (again)

Top photo by Concerned Citizen; 2nd pic by Stacie Joy 

Over the weekend, a smoke shop debuted at 199 E. Third St. just west of Avenue B... (not sure of the name, maybe Grand Opening? JK!

So this block now has a place for the usual variety of edibles, exotic snacks, etc. Not to mention festive balloonage for the debut...
This space was New Swan Cleaners until March 2022 ... the lease was up, and the owner decided to retire.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Noted

It looks like the latest unlicensed weed shop is going by Green Dispensary here on the SE corner of First Avenue and 10th Street. (Thanks to Steven for the photo!)

More retail spaces are arriving even as Mayor Adams and DA Bragg are cracking down on illegal storefront operations by targeting the landlords. 

The previous tenant on this corner, the E. 10th St. Finest Deli, closed in December 2020

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

The vacant storefront on this corner of 10th and 1st will be...

Photo by Dan Scheffey

In recent weeks, workers have been gut-renovating the vacant storefront on the SE corner of First Avenue and 10th Street.

And now, as if anyone will be surprised, it turns out that the new business will be a cannabis/CBD shop, another in the many that have popped up in the past year... and that is not legal.

Last week, Mayor Adams and DA Bragg started cracking down on illegal storefront operations by targeting the landlords. 

The city's third legal cannabis shop — aka Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary — opened on Monday at 62 E. 13th St. just west of Broadway. 

The previous tenant on this corner, the E. 10th St. Finest Deli, closed in December 2020

H/T Steven and Steven Walker, who also shared photos from this corner