New York’s first recreational marijuana dispensary sold $12 million in sales in the first six months of operations.
When announcing the figures this week, Housing Works Cannabis Co boasted the store has already directed millions of dollars to some of the city’s communities in the most urgent need of support. Sales are directly supporting programs that provide New Yorkers a variety of services. Housing Works noted those services include health care, housing, job training, harm reduction, case management, advocacy for health equity and social justice initiatives, LGBTQ+ youth programs, and sexual health services.
The shop’s manager noted these kinds of services were a keystone of what Housing Works does long before cannabis permits were a thing.
“Our goal, going back over 30 years ago through Housing Works, has been to empower New Yorkers through advocacy and bridge communities to life saving services,” said Sasha Nutgent, retail manager at Housing Works Cannabis Co. “From the resources we’ve rolled out, to the brands we carefully select for our customers, everything we do here has a greater purpose, and we’re humbled to see the support our mission is receiving.”
Things Started Strong
As expected, New York’s first recreational dispensary was a madhouse when it opened a couple of days before the new year. Housing Works notes the shop did an estimated $40,000 dollars in sales in just its first three hours open. Over the course of the next month, the numbers would get up to $1.6 million with sales continuing to roll on to hit that $12 million mark at the tail end of July.
What are New Yorkers buying?
According to Housing Works’ data from the last six months, New Yorkers are buying for strength. The biggest determining factor in purchases so far is potency. Some would argue that means consumers are uneducated, but that’s not necessarily the case. There is certainly some balance between potency and quality even if the weed with the highest THC number isn’t the best one on the shelf. People that try and disenfranchise the importance of potency in cannabis may be trying to cover for inferior products that don’t get the numbers needed to be commercially viable in this market. In a fun surprise, Housing Works noted that people are leaning towards sativas and sativa-leaning hybrids. Once there is a bigger data pool in New York, it will lean toward gas and dessert weed for sure, with the exception of great diesel.
Stocking The Shelves
While sales have been great, getting the product to stock the shelves and drive those numbers has not always been an easy task for Housing Works.
“One unforeseen challenge and a pain point for both retailers and customers has been product rollout,” said Nutgent. “There have been major improvements with the state’s product testing timeline, for example, but the feedback we still hear from some Black-owned brands is that there is not enough funding to get their products into the market.”
In recent months the dispensary has added over 200 new products.
Make no mistake about it, cannabis delivery has been an extremely popular thing in NYC for decades, with various services coming and going over those years. Housing Works has lucked out in becoming the first legal delivery service in the state in addition to its retail site. The company noted this falls right in line with its quest to be accessible.
“We’ve seen our delivery programs over the years forge meaningful and trusting relationships between our staff and thrift store patrons,” said Charles King, CEO of Housing Works. “To see the same positive dynamic emerge between customers and budtenders reflects our roots in the city, our deep understanding of New York City culture and the community trust we continue to nurture.”
Right now the delivery service is available in select zip codes in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens; anyone over the age of 21 with a valid ID can secure same-day and next-day delivery slots directly on Housing Works Cannabis Co’s website.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.