Welcome to Honeysuckle’s New York Retail Dispensary Round-Up! As the Empire State’s cannabis industry evolves, we’re bringing you weekly updates with information on new store openings, events, and other developments that the public needs to know.

The month of August has been a rollercoaster for the New York cannabis industry, as the injunction against CAURD licensees has continued on. Facing the possible collapse of the program, the licensees are now calling for justice in the form of action directly from state legislators.

While chaos reigns, other milestones uplifting stakeholders in the sector are celebrated. Most recently, the Great New York State Cannabis Growers Showcase had its inaugural season alongside the State Fair; Rochester gained its first adult-use dispensary experience via a pop-up by Herbal IQ; Union Square Travel Agency unveiled plans for its permanent location; operational retailers are going all in supporting cultivators and small farmers; and the end of summer was hailed in glorious style with a flurry of events.

(C) New York CAURD Coalition

New York CAURD Coalition Calls For State Legislators To Action Following Supreme Court Injunction

The 463 people currently licensed by the Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) program remain devastated by the injunction that was issued by a New York Supreme Court judge on August 7th. Judge Kevin Bryant initially imposed a temporary restraining order on the state’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) that barred the agency from granting or processing any new licenses under the program, in response to a lawsuit filed by four service-disabled veterans who believe they were unconstitutionally excluded from entering the legal cannabis industry. Through two court hearings and several weeks of motions from both sides, Judge Bryant has chosen to extend the injunction. In the process dispensaries have been prevented from opening and stakeholders are growing increasingly infuriated. (For a full rundown on the case, click here.)

Now, following the judge’s August 29th decision not to exempt any licensees from the injunction just yet, the New York CAURD Coalition is fighting back. Co-founders Jayson and Britni Tantalo and Coss Marte are encouraging community members to petition state legislators to codify the CAURD program into statute.

“Without codifying CAURD into statute, the regulations governing adult-use recreational dispensaries could be subject to frequent changes or even reversal,” the petition states. “By establishing it as a statutory law, we guarantee stability, consistency, and effective governance, ensuring that the industry operates within a well-defined framework.”

The option to sign CAURD officially into state law was presented to legislators in spring 2022, when bills regarding the Conditional Cultivator and Processor licenses were passed and then finalized with Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature. However, Assemblymembers and Senators couldn’t agree to do the same for the dispensary licenses, as the memberships in both houses never reached a decisive vote. Urging community members to try again by contacting their representatives is a risky effort - but for CAURD licensees and applicants, this is a last stand.

“There are hundreds of families facing real financial loss or worse; the prospect of bankruptcy due to their reliance on this deeply troubled business initiative,” the petition continues. “This program was designed with the intention of correcting some of the harm inflicted on the applicants through the prohibition of cannabis but we now find ourselves in a position where we are being harmed anew. While the conditional cultivators and processors were modified into the MRTA we, the justice-involved, have been neglected and left exposed to great harm.”

Within hours of going live on Monday, September 4th, the petition had gathered almost all the signatures needed to advance it to the next level of notice. The document outlines contact information for every sitting State Senator and Assemblymember in New York. We at Honeysuckle encourage our readers who are interested in supporting this petition to find the representatives for their district (click here for your Senator and click here for your Assemblymember), and reach out to them at the email address provided in the New York CAURD Coalition’s letter.

As the Coalition founders conclude, “This initiative not only presents a tremendous opportunity for economic growth but also prioritizes public health, social equity, and community development. Together, we can build a brighter future that embraces responsible cannabis use and reaps the manifold benefits that CAURD offers.”

Click here to sign the New York CAURD Coalition’s petition. For more information about the effort to support the CAURD program, visit newyorkcaurdcoalition.org.

The path to the Great New York State Cannabis Growers Showcase (C) FLAMER

The Great New York State Cannabis Growers Showcase Finishes Its Historic First Season

This year, New York became the first state in the nation to allow the sale of cannabis at a state and locally-sanctioned location. The Great New York State Cannabis Growers Showcase debuted in Syracuse on August 23rd, opening just a half-mile from the iconic Great New York State Fair. Organized by local dispensary FlynnStoned Cannabis Company and Delhi-based cultivator Ravens View Genetics, the Growers Showcase spotlighted nine cultivators and three processors, providing a platform where they could sell their wares direct to consumers.

Visitors to the State Fair could pick up special shuttle rides back and forth from the fairgrounds to the Growers Showcase. Once they verified they were age 21 and over, they could delight in the display of New York-grown and processed flower and cannabinoid products. The Growers Showcase lasted throughout the entirety of the State Fair, another link proving that the Empire State is taking agricultural cannabis seriously.

The OCM approved the Cannabis Growers Showcase initiative in July as an avenue for licensed cannabis farmers to sell flower and products right to those who will consume them. Each Showcase event must be partnered with and organized by a state-approved retailer, so local brands continue to flourish by working together to educate the public. During the week of August 10th, the first such occasions took place at New Paltz and Brooklyn to huge success. The Black Dirt Cannabis Growers Showcase, sponsored by Statis Cannabis Co, began in New Hampton on August 22nd and continues to operate daily, 10AM-6PM, at 5044 Route 17M. (For more information, follow @blackdirtcannabisco on Instagram.) Similar events launched in Batavia and Newark on August 29th.

However, the Great New York Cannabis Growers Showcase has so far been the biggest of all.

Wyatt Harms, co-founder and CEO of FLAMER, at the Great New York Cannabis Growers Showcase in Syracuse (C) FLAMER

FLAMER, a New York-based cannabis brand dedicated to creativity and queer culture, was live on the scene in Syracuse throughout the event’s run as their in-house cultivators were among those highlighted. Wyatt Harms, FLAMER’s co-founder and CEO, shared some “tales from the road” about being part of this landmark season.

HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE: How has the public response been to the Great New York State Cannabis Growers Showcase?

WYATT HARMS: People [were] very excited to chat and check out the products. People just love being able to talk about and enjoy weed publicly without the stigma, it’s liberating. [We] had some folks come up and say, “I haven’t smoked in 30 years” and were curious about trying it again. Others said they had been smoking for 40 years and even have their own grows that they proudly showed off. No matter their experience with the plant, everyone was stoked for this new legal era.

HONEYSUCKLE: What was your favorite thing about seeing all the brands together?

HARMS: There is a very strong community around cannabis in NEw York. When you go through shit together, you end up sticking together.

My favorite part of this event was being able to spend quality time with other folks in the industry. No one can build alone and there are some truly wonderful people building the legal market here.

HONEYSUCKLE: What should people know if they come out to a Cannabis Growers Showcase?

HARMS: They should know it’s an opportunity unlike any other. You actually get to meet the people growing your weed and talk to the folks who have poured their heart and soul into creating these quality New York products.

I’m excited to continue to see the Growers Showcase take off. They take a lot of work to put together, but the cultivators have show time and again they can deliver quality even under pressure. I hope to see them continue and OCM extends them into next year.

For more about FLAMER, visit heyflamer.com. To learn more about the Cannabis Growers Showcase initiative, click here.

A customer at Herbal-IQ Rochester on opening day. Screengrab via WXXI News.

Herbal IQ Gives Rochester Its First Dispensary Experience

Herbal IQ, a Depew-based CAURD dispensary that opened on July 21st, has launched a pop-up that gives the city of Rochester its first adult-use cannabis sales experience. On Wednesday August 30th, the company debuted Herbal-IQ Rochester, a temporary location that will serve as the site of a Cannabis Growers Showcase now through the end of the year.

Cultivators represented in the Rochester Showcase include 2J’s, Tap Root, A Walk in the Pines, and NOWAVE, all local operators in Upstate New York. Mike Dulen, co-owner of A Walk in the Pines, told the city’s local PBS affiliate WXXI that he and his colleagues were relieved to have an outlet to reach consumers.

“It’s just cool to see consumers finally come into a legal, pop-up showcase right now and be able to try the products that we put so much blood, sweat, and tears into,” Dulen said.

Flower, gummies, vapes, and concentrates are currently available at Herbal-IQ Rochester. The pop-up operates in its location at 1749 East Avenue until December 31, 2023.

For more information about Herbal IQ, visit herbaliq.org.

Union Square Travel Agency's new location at 835 Broadway (C) USQTA

Union Square Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store Completes Its Permanent Space

Union Square Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store (USQTA), is expanding from its initial pop-up location at 62 East 13th Street to its permanent 2800 square-foot space at 835 Broadway. The retailer’s team says that the move “will redefine what a dispensary experience is for adult-use consumers.”

Working with the award-winning architecture firm Leong Leong to create a destination that is inspired by the USQTA brand, the new space will be a portal for discovery, exploration, and education. Drawing inspiration from modernist icons of 20th Century travel architecture, such as Eero Saarinen's TWA World Flight Center, the design of the brand's first flagship store is equal parts exhibition space, laboratory, and refuge.

“The design intention for our new space is tranquil, cheeky, unexpected, and approachable,” said Arana Hankin-Biggers, President of USQTA. “Leong Leong has designed a surreal sanctuary that allows for a fun escape with a nod to retro-futurism. At USQTA, the boundaries between travel, cannabis, and the human spirit blur, inviting all who enter to transcend the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary.”

The USQTA "Flower Lounge" (C) USQTA

Among the new features in the dispensary will be what is believed to be the first “Flower Lounge” of its kind dedicated to to immersive cannabis experiences. This 150 square-foot room will provide a place for both seasoned enthusiasts and novices to learn about the science and biology of the cannabis flower. A key part of the Flower Lounge will help customers explore the seven most common terpenes found in cannabis, which have a distinct scent, flavor profile, and effect on the endocannabinoid system, and will oftentimes impact the customer’s overall experience more than the product’s THC percentage. One of the Flower Lounge’s highlights will be interactive vitrines featuring cannabis terpenes so that customers can learn and explore the scent profiles of different strains of cannabis, which will be matched with New York State flower for purchase.

At the heart of the store lies the centerpiece of the USQTA experience: custom-designed product displays. These innovative displays invite customers to  immerse themselves in a world of cannabis products, individually or with the guidance of the store’s knowledgeable budtenders, all highly trained to help maximize consumers’ experiences. Digital kiosks in the store were meticulously designed to evoke a sense of discovery and wonder, encouraging visitors to engage with the products, of which USQTA has the largest selection in New York City. The interactive stations become portals to an array of sensations and possibilities, welcoming guests to embark on a personal odyssey of taste, aroma, and effect.

The store will have a luminous “cove” along both sides of the retail floor which creates a cascade of soft wash of light along the walls of the space, endowing the room with an abstracted character and a soothing, ambient glow. Embedded in the wall behind the registers at checkout is a 12-foot-long custom light element that slowly changes color over time, casting an ethereal spell on the space. Illuminated display niches embedded in the walls become focal points, showcasing an array of carefully curated cannabis products, all grown in New York State from a variety of the best farmers.

Reflecting on USQTA’s pivotal role in New York’s transition to the legal cannabis market, Hankin-Biggers commented, “Through our space and our partnership with The Doe Fund, a nonprofit which for the last 30 years has helped to transition formerly incarcerated and homeless to become valuable members of the community and which receives 51 percent of all proceeds, we are transporting people out of poverty and homelessness and into prosperity and hope. The structure of the legal adult-use cannabis market in New York has a real opportunity for significant social impact and begins to provide support to repair the damage done by the failed War on Drugs.”

For more information, visit unionsquaretravelagency.com.

Ezza Valdez of The Alchemist's Kitchen teaches mixology and infusion history at Housing Works Bookstore (C) Jaime Lubin / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @jaimelubin

New York’s Adult-Use Dispensaries Ring Out Summer 2023 With Events Galore

Despite the confusion of the past several weeks for the cannabis industry as a whole, the state’s operational dispensaries managed to find time for plenty of fun. Here are a few highlights from the many events that licensed retailers hosted this August:

  • Housing Works Cannabis Co premiered its MJ Mondaze series on August 7th, presenting a mixology class in collaboration with The Alchemist’s Kitchen. The educational series will take place at Housing Works Bookstore on the first Monday of each month, offering hands-on events designed to familiarize consumers with the fundamentals of responsible consumption and the health and safety facts of cannabis, including both benefits and risk factors. In the first session, guests learned from The Alchemist’s Kitchen’s lead mixologist Ezza Valdez about the plant’s international history and helpful tips for infusing cannabis into cocktails and mocktails with various flavor profiles. The next MJ Mondaze will celebrate Sexual Health Month, featuring an all-women panel discussing "Elevated Sex." Sex educator Nahila and Her Highness co-founder Laura Eisman join Housing Works Cannabis Co's Assistant Manager Amanda Beauchamp for a conversation about cannabis and sex on September 11th at 6PM, 126 Crosby Street in New York City. Get FREE tickets here.
  • FlynnStoned Cannabis Company hosted its first Jokes Up In Smoke comedy nights on August 25th and 26th. Performers included headliner Kadeem Richardson (Laugh Factory, DC Improv), Montenegro Comedy’s Randy Staples and Zakary Haines, and Tre Solo (DC Comedy Loft).
  • Gotham took over Sisi Restaurant in the Hamptons on August 27th for an exclusive summer collaboration with House of Puff. Brunch, shopping, and the elegance of the celebrated resort spot (a favorite of Gwyneth Paltrow’s) made for a cannabis pop-up of sheer delights.
  • Poetry and literature lovers, keep an eye out for updates on Gotham and Honeysuckle’s reading series! If you want to submit your pieces, hit us up at @honeysucklemagazine on Instagram and @HoneysuckleMag on Twitter.
  • Good Grades took the party from Queens to Brooklyn on September 1st with a new pop-up location at 1056 Flatbush Avenue. In the transition from summer to fall - and into the retailer’s completed Queens buildout - the dispensary team will be offering a top-tier consumer experience in the Brooklyn community from now through December 31st, open 10AM to 8PM daily, Monday through Saturday.

What Else Should I Know About New York’s Cannabis Retail Dispensaries?

New York State currently has 23 CAURD licensed cannabis dispensaries open and operating. Click here to visit the OCM’s website for specific information about licenses and regulations. Read below for a list of all CAURD retailers now operating. Remember - if a store's not on this list, it's not legal!

If you have CAURD-related news or other dispensary updates you'd like to share, DM us at @honeysucklemagazine on Instagram or email jaime@honeysucklemag.com.

Housing Works Cannabis, LLC

750 Broadway, New York, NY 10003


Smacked Village

144 Bleecker Street, New York, NY10012


Just Breathe

75 Court Street, Binghamton, NY 13901


Union Square Travel Agency

62 E 13th Street, New York, NY10003


William Jane Corporation

119-121 E State Street, Ithaca, NY 14850


Good Grades, LLC

162-03 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11432


Upstate Canna Co

1613 Union Street, Schenectady, NY 12309



33 Union Sq. W, New York, NY 10003


Essential Flowers***

Albany, NY



3 E 3rd Street, New York, NY 10003


Elevate ADK***

Plattsburgh, NY


Social Equity CAURD JV LLC***

Richmond Hill, NY


Stage One Cannabis LLC

810C Broadway, Rensselaer, NY 12144


Flynnstoned Corporation

219 Walton Street, Syracuse, NY 13202


Half Island Flavors LLC***

Bronx, NY


Greenery Spot LLC

246 Main Street, Johnson City, NY 13790


Royal Leaf NY LLC (Statis)

817 E Tremont Avenue, Bronx, NY10460


Strain Stars LLC

1815 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale, NY 11735


Exscape INC (Sacred Bloom)

1308 Vestal Pkwy E, 1st Floor, Set D, Vestal, NY 13850


Dank 716 LLC

501 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203


Herbal IQ

6055 Transit Road, Depew, NY 14043


EK Green LLC (dba Canterra)***

Tonawanda, NY 14150


Dosha Farms

76 Main Street, Oneonta, NY 13820


Find Out More On Social










































Office of Cannabis Management

FlynnStoned Cannabis Company

Ravens View Genetics


Wyatt Harms

Union Square Travel Agency

The Doe Fund

Arana Hankin-Biggers

Paul F. Yau

Housing Works

Sasha Nutgent


Martha Marshall

Breanna Lopresti

Jaime Lubin


Featured image: Osbert Orduna and CAURD licensees' counsel Jorge Vasquez ( center right) address the public after the court hearing in Kingston (C) Jaime Lubin / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @jaimelubin