A new cannabis dispensary–only the third legalized weed shop in the city–opened February 13 just south of Union Square.
The dispensary, named Union Square Travel Agency, is owned by the Doe Fund, a nonprofit which provides housing and services to homeless and formerly incarcerated men in New York City and assists them in finding paid work.
More than 50% of the shop’s proceeds will go to the Doe Fund’s mission.
Employees say the opening went well, with no shortage of customers interested in their wares.
“It was a lot of people,” says Destiny Adams, a salesperson at the dispensary. She estimates 50 or 60 customers were there the first day. “Everyone enjoyed themselves,” adds Adams.
The Union Square Travel Agency is the third dispensary to open in the city since the legalization of marijuana for commercial sale in NY State.
So far, all the city’s legal weed shops are south of 14th Street. The city’s first legal weed shop, owned by the non profit Housing Works, opened to long lines at 750 Broadway near 8th Street on Dec. 29th. The second one to open on Jan. 24 at 144 Bleeker Street is owned by Roland Connor, who had a past marijuana conviction expunged by the new state marijuana law.
“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,” Governor Hochul said in a statement Monday. “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.”
Under current regulations, in order to apply for a retail dispensary license, applicants must either have a past marijuana-related conviction themselves or have a close relative who does. Nonprofits like the Doe Fund and Housing Works are also eligible for licenses based on their history of assisting the previously incarcerated.
Employees are enthusiastic about the shop’s future.
“The atmosphere is really fun; it’s a perfect scene,” says Adams. “Everybody is working together helping out the customers. It’s just good vibes.”
The storefront is located at 62 East 13th Street. Initial operating hours will be 10 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday and 10 am-11 pm Friday and Saturday.
“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.” Governor Kathy Hochul