weed shop nyc

What Makes a Great Weed Shop in NYC? The Good vs Bad

weed in jar being weighed

It is important to note that this guide shows where pot buyers can expect to buy marijuana at its highest quality, we suggest dispensaries like Legacy NYC.

When you are trying to buy weed in NYC, you MUST remember that you are actually receiving the cannabis as a “Gift”, and you are not flat out buying it.

The Best Places to Buy Weed in NYC

So, as a kid from the suburbs who is now living in New York City and going to college here, I’ve become a pretty big fan of smoking weed. 

However, after lots of research and a few friendly recommendations from my friends, I’ve compiled a list that you don’t need to do all the legwork yourself.

Buying weed in New York City has changed a lot in the last decade. While at one time you’d have to meet an illegal seller on the corner next to the bodega, today you can go to a smoke shop and obtain it legally. However, not every weed shop is up to standard. 

Savvy marijuana buyers research before deciding where to buy weed, and it starts with an in-depth look at what traits to compare among the different shops. Especially if you’ve never visited a smoke shop for buying weed, it’s important to know the process and make sure you’ve found a reputable and respected cannabis dispensary. 

Here is a checklist you can use to make sure you’re in the right place for the best cannabis products.

Compliance With State Laws

Before anything else, you need to be confident that the smoke shop you are visiting complies with the New York state laws in regard to cannabis, which recently changed. In 2021, the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) was signed into law. This act legalized cannabis for adults over the age of 21 and created the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM). This agency is responsible for licensing distributors, among other things. It is only legal to purchase cannabis in New York at a state-licensed dispensary.

Although users can still apply for a medical marijuana card, the lengthy process is no longer necessary to legally obtain flowers or other forms of cannabis. It is now legal to possess and use up to three ounces of marijuana or up to 24 grams of concentrated cannabis. You are allowed by law to keep up to five pounds safely at home, and the smell of smoke is no longer grounds for a legal search of your property. 

Yet, government works slowly — so while these laws are in place, the state is still figuring out the licensure process. In the meantime, legal smoke shops operate under what is known as the gifting system. Since the law allows people to give cannabis as gifts, it is possible to buy an item from a marijuana dispensary, like digital artwork, and then receive weed as an MRTA-compliant gift. The best weed shop in NYC will make sure the transaction is conducted in such a way that everything is legal. 

Excellent Customer Service From Budtenders

You need to feel comfortable during the entire process, and visiting the website can give you a better idea of how a business operates. You should be able to easily find a menu of items they have for sale as well as in what forms the cannabis is available, like edibles, vapes, concentrates, tinctures, etc. Another example would be the different strains of flowers that are offered. You can research the reviews and effects of the offerings or even call the smoke shop to talk with the employees about each one. 

Once it is clear that the smoke shop operates legally, the next thing to look for is great customer service. It’s important that the people who are working at the weed shop are able to talk with you about the different products they offer as gifts and the art they are selling. A lack of knowledge about either side of the business should be a red flag for you as the customer.

The people who are behind the counter of a great smoke shop should be happy to answer all your questions. You should never feel uncomfortable with what you might think is a stupid question, because the cannabis industry can be complicated and confusing. Even as the legalization process moves forward, it is better to ask questions and learn the protocol instead of being afraid of doing it wrong. 

Convenient and User-Friendly

Convenience is another important trait of the best smoke shops. The storefront should be open during extended hours. When you’re in a city like New York, you want to make sure that the shop is open late to allow you to pick up whatever you need at a time that is best for you.

You also don’t want the gifting process to take too much of your time. Look for a store that streamlines it. You will need to bring your state-issued ID card for age verification. Once it’s established that you’re over 21, you should be quickly directed to someone who is ready and willing to help you. While you can look on the website to familiarize yourself with the different strains of flower that are available for gifting, you should also feel comfortable asking the staff for suggestions and insights on whatever is for sale. 

The best smoke shops in NYC also have a number of ways for you to contact them before you arrive at the establishment. Look for a phone number, email address, and social media platforms to be linked on the website. Professional stores may also have a newsletter that will let you know what’s happening and what is new at the shop.

Vast Inventory of Cannabis Product Gifts

Before the legalization of cannabis, it was nearly impossible to choose specific strains. Thankfully, both recreational and medical marijuana education efforts have helped educate the community about the effects of different kinds of flowers. The best smoke shops will have a good variety of the best strains from which to choose.  

Look for a place that offers indica, sativa, and hybrid strains, since each will produce a different result. For example, sativa strains are best during the day for highly focused activities. Indica strains of flowers are better for relaxation and feeling calm toward the end of the day. If you are unsure about the specific inventory offerings, you can speak with a budtender about each one. 

Keep in mind that the way weed is grown and distributed in the United States is still under development. You may not always see your favorite strain available. If you are looking for a specific strain and don’t see it on the website, call and talk to the person at the shop. They may have insight as to when more will arrive, or they may be able to recommend a different strain that offers similar results.

If a shop doesn’t have a good selection or the people who work there are not very accommodating, shop elsewhere.

Best Weed Prices

A weed shop can operate legally, be staffed by the coolest people, and have the best strains but be inclined to overprice their items. Most flowers are priced between $75 and $100, meaning you will buy a piece of digital art at that rate and receive the flower of your choice as an MRTA-compliant gift. If the prices are substantially higher, you may want to shop around.

Since the legalization process has begun in New York, it is expected that the demand will rise for weed. This means that the price of flowers should start to fall. Of course, the state is taxing the sales as part of the legislation, so make sure you understand the total cost before moving forward with your purchase. State-licensed dispensaries don’t have control of the tax rates, but the employees should be able to explain the pricing to you in a clear and transparent manner.

Cool Atmosphere

The best smoke shop in NYC is also the coolest. They host events that bring the community together and showcase local artists and musicians.

For example, Legacy NYC recently hosted an appearance by Al Harrington, former NBA star and founder of Viola Cannabis, with featured guest budtender M-1 at their location, 98 Orchard Street in Greenwich Village. At the event, there were plenty of giveaways and raffles for people in attendance. To stay up to date with their events, you can visit their website and register for their newsletter. You’ll be among the first to know what’s happening at the smoke shop, and you can contact them with any questions you may have about recreational weed. 

Legacy NYC is more than a weed dispensary. It’s a street art gallery located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, making it a popular spot for visitors and residents in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. On the shop walls, there are featured exhibits from local street artists from throughout New York City. Along with having a great selection of flowers and edibles, the shop displays a range of artistic pieces, making it a great cultural destination.

Bottom Line: Research Before You Buy

As with most purchases, it’s a good idea to thoroughly research recreational dispensaries and marijuana products before you go to a smoke shop. That time spent will help you to find one where you feel comfortable like Legacy NYC. Legacy NYC cannabis store provides very high quality cannabis products for locals and anyone visiting New York City. With information on the right location, staff, and products in hand, you’ll be able to get the exact cannabis product that you want.  

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