Legal Weed Shop Opening On The Bowery Has Been A Long Time Coming

Mighty Lucky, run by photographer Beau Allulli and his partner Doo Kim, is soft-launching before a formal opening in May. On April 17, Alluli told Our Town Downtown about the journey that led up to its conception.

| 19 Apr 2024 | 05:15

On the overcast morning of April 17, Beau Allulli–the co-founder of the legally licensed dispensary Mighty Lucky, which he’s opening at 259 Bowery with his business-and-romantic partner Doo Kim–was in the midst of processing his life journey.

Allulli has traversed a number of career paths since 2005: actor, former restaurant worker, and photographer. Yet his most lucrative enterprise, by far, had been running a sort of bicycle-delivery weed empire. It was also a legally fraught exercise at the time, which he has used to his present advantage.

It all started with a roommate that moved into his three-bedroom East Village apartment, Allulli told Our Town Downtown. “Her mom grew really amazing bud in Oregon. She started mailing it to my apartment,” he explained. It was cheap, and he reliably handed it out to his fellow employees at the restaurant he worked at. “I already had a kind of built-in clientele, and people were expecting me to provide for them,” he said.

Eventually, his roommate’s mom started mailing to him directly, putting it in a cooking pot. Allulli would send back cash in the same receptacle, and quickly realized it was a better source of income than his above-board gigs. His network soon spread. Even more fortuitously, it helped him weather the 2008 financial crash. “I had already built up enough delivery stops per day, whether it was five or 10, that I was making like $200 every single day,” he said.

Eventually, Allulli noted, he had to look for a different supply. “The cooking pot situation got a little crazy. The woman in Oregon told me: ‘I can’t be sending you two pounds.’ She wanted to cut me off. I didn’t know anybody in the drug business,” he said. Eventually, he connected with a source out in Long Island, who later dropped out of the market and left Allulli with extra clients. He was up to making 20 deliveries a day. “I was paying off my bills, my credit card debt was going down. It was a savior for me at that time.”

Enter his first arrest, in 2010. A friend was in town from Louisiana, and they were planning to see the Allman Brothers at the Beacon Theatre. First, however, weed deliveries needed to be made. On the second or third stop, an undercover cop busted him after noticing a client holding a $100 bill in an odd way.

”It wasn’t in my optimistic purview that I’d get arrested. That was never a concern for me,” Allulli noted with a laugh. “There was probably some white privilege mixed in with that.”

Once he got out 48 hours later, he was right back in the game. Outside of the money he had pulled in, Allulli said there was something addicting about being the best part of a client’s day: “You’re greeted with love like a cute dog is on the street, essentially. All you know is positivity all day long.” He brought in neighbors, “sweet people who were dedicated and loved it the same way I did.”

He then got arrested again on Friday the 13th, 2011. Cops busted him in the lobby of a building on 25th St., while conducting an operation under the Clean Halls Initiative. Enacted in the Bloomberg era and nominally organized around trespassing laws, the initiative was later ended under a settlement with civil rights groups.

The second arrest happened right when his then-fiancé’s (and now ex-wife’s) family was in town. She had to lie about his whereabouts, as he didn’t get out until Monday. It also put a formal conviction for marijuana possession on his record, which ended up eventually being a blessing in disguise.

Once again, he jumped back into action, and soon enough his delivery workers were making 120 stops a day: “I knew at this point that I’ve been arrested twice, and I’m not stopping.” Allulli claims he made hundreds of thousands of dollars, and was delivering as far as the Hamptons. He was even able to open a photography studio, which he named Mighty Lucky.

In 2021, marijuana was legalized in NYS, with a focus on vindicating those with cannabis-related criminal records. In other words, given his prior arrests and hustling acumen, Allulli was a perfect candidate for a CAURD (Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary) license. He needed one more than ever, too, after unlicensed weed sellers began to proliferate across NYC. They were poaching his clients.

Allulli and Doo were awarded such a license in April 2023, securing high marks on its requirements. After all, he was already used to running a photography business, which he said worked “in his favor.” The process also cost him $200,000 in consultant and attorney fees, some of which he said was wasted.

”People were losing their minds in my circle” after hearing the news, he chuckled. Friends had been worried that legalization would destroy his delivery business, but instead he said that it gave “experts” like him a seat at the table. In fact, he claimed that people began clamoring to buy out his license, with one deal reportedly offering him $5 million.

There have been brief hiccups. An injunction issue by the New York State Supreme Court halted the opening of CAURD stores last August, the result of a group of veterans suing the state and alleging discrimination in the licensing process. That suit, which Allulli said threatened to put him $150,000 in debt, was settled by November.

Now, though, it appears that things will finally be set in motion for Allulli’s Manhattan dispensary. During our interview, set in an unfinished pink-walled backroom, prospective applicants looking to be “budtenders” at Mighty Lucky were receiving presentations from two cannabis brands–Eaton Botanticals and Fernway–on the store’s floor. He’s already hired some former clients, and he said that he might just pad out his staff with some of the “really enthusiastic” hopefuls in the other room. He anticipated a soft-launch by the end of the week, and was handing out free succulents to stop-ins.

Then Allulli and Doo gathered outside, in front of the gold lettering of the dispensary-to-be, and posed for expectant photographs in their jumpsuits. The time to sell weed on the Bowery, legally, had arrived.