New York’s two-and-a-half-year-old legal cannabis program is like a fueled-up rocket just steaming on the launch pad, waiting for ignition.
The state’s regulators have nearly run out of ways to fumble the ball, and stores are finally opening on a near-daily basis. The New York City metro area has about 2 million weed smokers, but up until now had just a handful of retail stores. That’s all changing, so we’ve started this NYC Weed Visitor’s Guide post to get you oriented, hooked up, and having fun in the big city. Let’s freaking go.
What’s NYC’s weed rules?
Weed is now legal for adults 21 and up. The police have stopped making arrests for possession. You’re not supposed to smoke in the parks, but the existing policy is to allow you to smoke on the sidewalk.
You can have up to 3 ounces, 24 grams of hash, and grow 6 plants.
“New York is now the best city for smoking weed,” said lounge owner Ben at the Astor Club.
Read the details of the law on our Leafly Learn Legalization page for New York.
Where’s NYC’s legal weed stores?
The number of licensed, operational cannabis stores changes daily in NYC as the program finally ramps. Use Leafly Finder to look at a map of licensed cannabis stores in Manhattan.
For stores that have not advertised with Leafly, the state of New York maintains a list of licensed retailers. Here’s what it says as of Dec. 20.
We’ve started a Google MyMap to track all licensed and operational dispensaries in the NYC Metro area, plus attractions.
What’s some good weed to buy in New York?
Good question. Leafly has started professionally rating cannabis in New York and here’s what we got so far.
Budtenders in New York recommend: Super Runtz, Sour Diesel, and Blueberry Muffin.
In terms of brands, budtenders chose: Matter and Curaleaf most often. We also like Ithaca Organics and Electraleaf.
The top 10 strains of New York in 2023 are: Lemon Cherry Gelato, Original Glue, Blue Dream, Runtz, Gary Payton, Sour Diesel, Wedding Cake, Gelato, Permanent Marker, and Oreoz.
Beyond flower, we like Kiva Camino gummies, and Cookies vapes.
Remember, you can order weed for delivery and pickup now. Here’s how:
New Yorkers! Now you can order your legal weed for pickup like it’s Chinese takeout
What’s a New York Cannabis Grower’s Showcase?
They’re like farmers markets for New York growers and they’re popping up all over the state this winter to help sell the 2023 crop. Here is where the state keeps its list of Showcases. Go to them and browse and buy bud from New York’s outdoor and greenhouse growers.
We went and reviewed one, check it out:
I’m high, what do I do now in NYC?
Anything your heart can dream up.
For NYC’s best weed attractions, go to:
- The THC Museum
- The Highline Park
- Washington Square Park
- Times Square
- the Cookies store
- The Strand Bookstore
Look up NYC’s daily events calendars (Time Out) and get into it. Its the 50th anniversary of hip-hop.
For NYC’s best stoner munchie food, get:
- Joe’s Pizza
- The Donut Pub
- Dim Sum Palace
- Madison Square Park Shake Shack
- Beer Culture
- Joe’s Shanghai
- Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
What’s the latest news on legal weed in New York
Dec. 20 update: New York state regulators continue to issue licenses that promise to increase the number of retail outlets in New York City in the coming year. More than 7,000 applied in the most recent period.
Fresh indoor cannabis is coming to adult-use dispensaries, as well. The state’s preexisting medical cannabis operators—who have indoor grows—just got permission to sell into stores. Look out for fresh Ratings on New York’s first legal indoor weed in the coming weeks.
The THC Museum is open and serving visitors.
New York weed visitors frequently asked questions
What does CAURD mean?
New York loves acronyms and CAURD is jargon for a legal weed store. It stands for cannabis adult-use retail dispensary. Very official.
What’s up with the bodegas selling weed?
New York police and regulators are taking a hands-off approach to people that violate the remaining criminal and civil laws against unlicensed cannabis sales and distribution. Consequently, more than 1,000 outlets purport to sell THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. These products are not tested by the state of New York for purity and potency. Past untested cannabis products in New York have contained poisonous vape chemicals, and other impurities.
New York authorities are focusing on threatening landlords that lease to unlicensed shops.
How to spot a fake vape cartridge
What’s up with the weed lounges?
They’re cool. They vary in quality from shabby to swanky. They don’t have a license per se, but they pitch themselves as private, members-only spaces where people consume cannabis. Ask around for local ones like The Astor Club, or Work N Roll.
Looking beyond New York? Here’s Leafly’s List of New York State’s best dispensaries 2023
Got more questions? What else do you want to see in a visitor’s guide? Drop us a comment and we’ll get on it. Good luck and have fun!