Another marijuana dispensary to open in Manhattan, third in NYC to be licensed

New York City’s third legal dispensary for recreational marijuana is slated to open next week in Union Square, Governor Kathy Hochul announced Friday.

The dispensary, which will be operated by a non-profit organization that assists the formerly incarcerated, will open Monday at 62 East 13th St. It will be the third store in New York City to operate under a license, with the first opening Dec. 29 in the East Village.

The new store, to be called Union Square Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store, will be open 10 a.m.- 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The store is located near the two other dispensaries —Housing Works Cannabis Co., the first to open, at Broadway at East 8th Street, and Smacked LLC at 144 Bleeker St.

The state’s goal is to advance licenses under its NYS Seeding Opportunity Initiative, which prioritizes granting licenses to non-profits that serve people caught up in the justice system, or individuals with a cannabis conviction. Housing Works is a non-profit that fights homelessness and HIV, while Smacked LLC is owned by Roland Conner, who has a drug conviction.

“We’re building a cannabis industry here in New York State that is equitable and delivers new resources to nonprofits that bring supportive services to our communities,” Hochul said in a statement. “This is the latest milestone in our efforts to grow the industry, while creating jobs and opportunity for those who, historically, have been disproportionately targeted for cannabis infractions.”

The Union Square location opening Monday will operate under a license held by The Doe Store, which is a subsidiary of the Doe Fund. The Doe Fund helps individuals caught up in the cycle of poverty, homelessness and incarceration by providing jobs and support services. Doe Fund workers are often seen cleaning the sidewalks in a trademark blue uniform.

The store will be managed by Harbour Community, a cannabis company, which will take a share of the profits.

The store’s opening comes nearly two years after the state passed a law permitting the legal sale of Marijuana for licensed vendors. However, the licenses are being awarded at a time when hundreds of unlicensed dispensaries have been popping up across the city. Mayor Eric Adams announced earlier this month that the city would be cracking down on unlicensed pot vendors.