New York Recreational Weed Recommendations
I just got back from a five night trip to the Big Apple with a singlular goal- find some NYC marijuana as a tourist! See, dispensaries haven't opened yet. New York only just legalized cannabis and it generally takes a year or two to get licensed shops open from that point- they're tentatively scheduled to open in 2022 at present. In the meantime, the underground services are going mainstream to fill the gap. Here are the folks I found that are worth the discerning cannabis consumer's valuable time.
Gifted BK operates an art gallery/storefront gifting service in the trendy Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. It is by far the easiest, most reliable option for you to get weed whilst traipsing through the Big Apple. Naturally, I made this beautiful, spacious, well-lit shop my first stop. All the hip-hop themed art and clothing displayed is for sale. When I visited, they were hosting a vivacious group painting session in the front of the house, while the Gentleman was ushered back to check out the flowers and edibles on display at the counter. The selection was impressive! Gifted BK had eight different types of flower on hand I could examine pre-purchase, along with various pre-roll and edible options, including some interesting products like locally-made THC honey.
Safe and simple, Gifted BK offers the dispensary experience you're looking for. They're open from 11am-10pm daily at 153 Grand St in Brooklyn, NY. You can reach them at 347-547-5445 or via their website, giftedbk.com.
King of New York Cannabis
King of New York Cannabis is a Manhattan-based pick-up service. You call or text them at 718-690-8425 and they'll give you the address. Most nights, you'll find them at a swanky new flat, as they change locations regularly. Inside, you'll find their selection of flowers, pre-rolls, and edibles arranged neatly for your perusal prior to purchase. Think of it as an appointment-based, private dispensary hosted by a professional, courteous staff. Oh, and they do events, too! When I met KONYC, they had just hosted an album release party for hip-hop artist Jungle.
King of New York Cannabis are open from 10am-10pm everyday for the discerning consumer's convenience. In case you forget the number, it's on their website, kingofnewyorkcannabis.com.
Pizza Pusha is probably the most famous delivery service in New York right now. Not only do they deliver their signature THC-covered pies (drizzled with infused olive oil) and more to all five boroughs, New Jersey, and celebrities all over the United States, they've got a pair of event spaces where you can enjoy your pizza in public. The East Village location is more of a club atmosphere, while the weed garden I visited in Coney Island can only properly be described as a Stoner's Paradise.
Behind an unassuming fence lies the largest outdoor cannabis lounge I've ever seen. The work of prominent street artists has transformed the space into a veritable art installation. It's a BYO space- you're welcome to bring your own weed and light up at will, but they do sell ridiculously large blunts on premises. Here's how it works: you book seating for two at one of their all-inclusive dinner services that night. Each dish and drink only contains between 20-30mg of THC a piece, which is a lot for the inexperienced. Even for regular smokers, the drinks, salads, pizza, wings, gelato, and cannolis mount up over the course of the evening, and I was still flying high late into the night. Early in the evening, guests were treated to a smooth funk band. At 9pm, you're welcome to take a seat in the weed-leaf shaped wooden lounge chairs and enjoy the movie of the night. It was such a welcoming, relaxed environment, I really can't recommend it enough. You can book tickets on their website, thepizzapusha.info, under Reservations.
Watered Roots bills itself as a farm-to-table cannabis delivery service that is focused on providing the highest quality at a reasonable price. After sampling their Grape Cake and Cornbread flowers, their freshly-ground Sacred Rolls, and the Pine Tree Apothecary kief-covered caviar joint, the Gentleman is inclined to heartily agree.
I took Watered Roots up on their limited pick-up option in Queens, as I was eager to get a bit more of NYC under my feet. The proprietor is an interesting figure. A disgruntled New York medical patient, frustrated with limited products, high prices, and low quality at the dispensaries, Watered Roots fights back as the cure to Curaleaf. An old-school, discerning service, they carefully choose their customers- so be on your p's and q's, people! I don't want to hear any of my precious hobgoblins were causing any trouble! First, you Follow and Message them through Instagram. If accepted, they'll direct you to contact them via the encrypted Signal app to view the current menu and place your order. Their response was quick and I was able to arrange a meet-up the same day. I highly recommend you check these guys out.
Bushwick Buds is a pick-up service in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood, near where I was staying in Bed-Stuy. The photos we found on Instagram looked downright scrumptious so the Gentleman slid into their DMs, as the millennials say. I received their menu forty-five minutes later; the no-hassle meet up outside a local landmark was arranged another thirty minutes from then.
They had a good selection with eight different flowers and mentioned they had edibles, cartridges, and concentrate if I were interested. The prices were very reasonable- I ordered two eighths and got the discounted quarter price. Bushwick Buds confided that with so many services, around, they compete on quality. I can attest to that! Both of the flowers I picked up, Corleone Kush and Goldilocks, smoked like a dream. The latter was mostly popcorns, but still an enjoyable smoke.
I found Gotham Apples advertising their delivery service on an NYC subreddit. I sent a chat request through Reddit's app and they asked for my number an hour later. Their enormous, emoji-filled menu arrived minutes later via text. Twelve flowers to choose from, seven different flavors of Pine Tree Apothecary caviar joints, more pre-rolls, edibles, vapes, concentrates...it'll take a few scrolls to get through it all. We weren't able to arrange for meet-up until the next day, where he kindly offered to meet me by the subway in Brooklyn. My purchase arrived in a small mason jar inside a green plastic bag. The Fozzie flowers inside, which Gotham Apples told me hailed from Maine, were worth the wait. DM them on Instagram and mention "Gentleman Toker" and they'll give you 15% off your order.
Jumpin' Jack Flash
So I'm waiting for my delivery from Jumpin' Jack Flash, one of NYC's most popular delivery services, when I get the text from the driver that he's two minutes out. He'll be in a white car with the lights flashing, he says. Great! I start getting myself together to go wait outside when the video doorbell activates. Outside the building I'm staying are two of New York's Finest, big guys in tactical vests emblazoned with POLICE across the chest. Fumbling with the unfamiliar security system, I hang up and head outside. Time for my Law & Order cameo, getting arrested trying to buy weed on the internet.
But it's a false alarm. They're as surprised to see this cherubic face as I am the fuzz at my door. They're looking for someone that used to stay in the apartment that I'm renting as an AirBNB. They ask who I rented it from. "The app! It's an app!" I squeak, and they wish me a nice stay. The Sword of Damocles is staid for another day. I go back inside, give the officers time to depart, and peek my head out the door- my Jumpin' Jack Flash driver is still there, the complete and utter madman, the absolute G.
I get in the car, he hands me the quarter of Halo flower I ordered (no eighths for sale) off their most expensive tier of flower and I leave to contemplate my dumb luck over a doobie. Halo was an above-average flower and I enjoyed the Thai Candy pre-roll, too. Jumpin Jack Flash's menu is staggering in its range of options and intricately detailed with instructions, sales, and product details. It took about an hour to make contact and another five to receive delivery. They do offer pick-up if you're in a hurry, and serve all five boroughs. You can hit them up via the Telegram encryption app by typing @gothmed into the search bar after clicking New Message. Don't choose the @gothmeds handle by mistake, make sure you get this right!
The Cookie Jar
The Cookie Jar is another delivery service we found on Reddit. Instructions were to reach out using the Telegram app @cookiejar_nyc. They offer free delivery, but their minimum order raises depending on your location. Its cheapest to hit them up in Manhattan, more for Brooklyn, and more than that to get out into Westchester county. Oooh, that's where the X-Men are from! The Cookie Jar had a limited menu of five flowers separated into two tiers, some STIIIZY pods, and a couple of familiar edible options, Punch Bars and Koko Nuggz.
I hit them up at 10am and got a response an hour later. When I placed my delivery order to Brooklyn, they let me know I could expect delivery around 7-8pm. I don't have a problem with it taking a while as long as I have an ETA to work with, so that was much appreciated. The driver gave me a heads up when they were en route, then arrived promptly at 8:01pm. I thought their MAC 1 was an above-average flower and feel good about recommending them.
While I didn't get to visit a Happy Munkey weed smoke-easy events, a member of their team kindly made time to school your Gentleman on the ins and outs of New York City's cannabis new laws and history. They do events all over the country and will be at National Cannabis Festival with us this year!
There were a couple other services I hit up while I was in town. Weed in NYC has a nice, functional website with a shopping cart checkout system that makes ordering a snap. Like DC, they request a selfie and a photo of your ID before they'll serve you. I thought they were pretty expensive compared to other services, but I did like the Lime Slurps flower I got.
Nominor's Club is one of the most popular services in NYC on LeafedOut. I met them on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for a smooth and easy pick-up. One of the quicker and easier services to work with, reasonable prices, and the Hindu Z I picked up was decent, but I was disappointed that the flowers were smashed into a bag far too small for them.
Is Weed Legal in NY?
Yes, indeedy-do, New York fully legalized cannabis in 2021. I've taken a look at their laws and I gotta say, I'm downright jealous of the Empire State right now. Look at all the goodies they get!
- Adults 21+ can possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis flower or 24 grams of concentrate.
- You can share it with any other adult of age without compensation
- You can smoke it anywhere that cigarettes are also allowed under NY's Clean Indoor Air Act
- The smell of cannabis is no longer grounds to be stopped or searched by police.
- In addition to licensed dispensaries, there will be licensed lounges for consumption!
- A single adult 21+ is allowed to grow up to 6 plants, of which only 3 can be in the flowering stage at any time...eventually. You have to wait 18 months (less for medical patients) after licensed dispensaries open before you can plant your seeds!
- You can double your home-growing allowance if you have more than one adult in a single household, up to 12 plants at a time with 6 flowering.
- Home growers can possess up to 5 pounds at home so long as you take "reasonable steps" to secure it
- Qualifying conditions to become a medical marijuana patient have been greatly expanded
- Got a cannabis charge on your record? Not anymore, you don't! If what you did then would be legal under the new law, then your charges will be automatically expunged. This process is expected to take approximately 2 years, FYI.
NYC Cannabis Delivery Ins and Outs
In my compassionate wisdom, the Gentleman has decided to bestow you with a distillation of the lessons I learned about New York City's weed scene. Harken to me, harpies of Gotham!
Cash is King
If you're hoping to find someone that'll takes cards or app payments, you're gonna have a rough time. Operating on a cash basis protects the consumer, too. There's a good chance that anyone asking for payment up front is going to rip you off. None of the services I tested above required payment in advance.
How Much Does It Cost?
I've heard that weed is expensive in NY, but there's a wide range due to all the competition. Several of the brands I tried out had very reasonable pricing, $50-$60/eighth for excellent quality buds. I mean, that's expensive for Cali, but not the East Coast. Highest pricing I found was a whopping $120/eighth.
That said, the minimum cost you have to meet to secure a delivery is generally going to be cheapest in Manhattan. Expect a significant increase for the other boroughs. Meeting brands for a pick-up will offset this cost, however, you could be paying $50 or more each way if you plan to take Uber to your appointments. That's $100 there and back! I would have netted more weed paying a higher delivery minimum to Brooklyn than running all over the city. Of course, it did allow me to see more of NYC.
I've heard that you can get weed delivered in an hour or less in New York City, but that's only accurate if you have a friend refer you to a service in the correct neighborhood. My experience going in blind was that it took an hour for most services to get back to me. The actual delivery could take hours. Most services offered a faster pick-up option if you're not planning on chilling in one place all day.
You should also exercise patience in your communication with these brands. As explained in Natural Born Killers, nothing turns people off like being an over-eager beaver. Answer or ask one question at a time, go one step at a time. It might take 10 minutes or more between messages. Don't be pushy. It's a city of millions of people, they'll move on to another customer if they think you're gonna be a headache.
420-Friendly Lodging in NYC
The Gentleman has had his fair share of trouble as a ganja tourist in hotels. These days, I find AirBNB to be the best bet for the traveling toker, since you can filter by Smoking Allowed. Just to be safe, I messaged a few different hosts to make sure cannabis smoke was included and wasn't turned away by anyone. For this trip, I settled on a property that offered me two floors of privacy in Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy neighborhood. I found a wall of (empty) exotic weed bags downstairs and Cookies-brand pillows. Oh yeah, I thought, this is the right place.
Be Gone With You!
I had a fantastic trip to New York City! Now that the Gentleman has given you every tool you need to successfully score your own bag of primo buds, you will, too. You know the laws, you know the brands, and you know the etiquette. So what are you still hanging around here for? Go get yourself some weed, weirdos, the show's over! I've already taken my pants off! You sure you want to stick around while I eat Flamin Hot Cheetos and watch MODOK? Ok, I guess. Sit over there.