Welcome to Honeysuckle’s New York Retail Dispensary Round-Up! For years, we’ve been reporting on key figures, organizations, and actions in the cannabis industry that have been crucial to its evolution, particularly on our home turf. Now, step by step, the Empire State is transforming into a thriving hub for licensed cannabis dispensaries. As more retailers become operational, we’ll bring you weekly updates with information on new store openings, events, and other developments that the public needs to know.

What's New In New York: Office Of Cannabis Management (OCM) Announces 212 CAURD Licenses And Retail Market Growth

Just a few days ago, New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and Cannabis Control Board (CCB) awarded 212 additional retail licenses. Those granted the Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses are nonprofit organizations or justice-involved entrepreneurs who have been negatively impacted by the War on Drugs. The OCM’s significant expansion of the CAURD program is a sign of the state’s efforts to commit to its mission of repairing disproportionate harms from the fallout of cannabis criminalization. Thus far, New York’s retail rollout has received community and industry criticism for being too slow, though reports indicate that things are about to change.

At the OCM and CCB’s July 19th meeting, the agency’s Director of Policy John Kagia announced that the state had opened 20 licensed retailers to date and that over 40 more would be on track to launch soon. According to charts displayed during the session, consumer demand for cannabis has grown by more than 22 percent just since New York legalized adult use in 2021, an addition of nearly 1 million new purchasers seeking product in the market.

“These data illustrate not only the immense scale of demand being met by our licensed operators, but underscore the urgency of rapidly expanding retail access for consumers to our legal products,” Kagia said.

So without further ado, here’s your latest CAURD Reads!

Dank 716 owner Aaron Van Camp (center) with community officials at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the dispensary in Buffalo. Screengrab via WKBW ABC News.

Western New York Gains First Cannabis Retail Dispensaries In Dank 716 And Herbal IQ

Western New York saw its first CAURD dispensaries come alive in the past few days, with the grand openings of Dank 716 in Buffalo on July 18th and Herbal IQ in Depew on July 21st. The events were met with joyous celebration, as major parts of the region have been plagued by legal injunctions since last November that prevented any licenses from being issued. Now the citizens of downtown Buffalo and the more suburban environment of Depew can enjoy access to legal products without having to travel hours for them.

Dank 716’s owner Aaron Van Camp presided over a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the store’s location on 501 Main Street, officially granting entry to customers at 4:20PM on the launch date.

“It’s a work in progress,” Van Camp told the region’s local NBC affiliate, citing that there had been stress in getting the store ready in enough time to be compliant with state standards. But the cheering crowd outside Dank 716 seemed excited by the offerings within, and the owner greeted each guest personally. He noted to the Buffalo News that “this is the largest soft opening I think anyone’s ever going to have.”

Meanwhile, roughly 20 minutes away at 6061 Transit Road in Depew, Herbal IQ debuted to the public on July 21st at 11AM. Chief Operations Officer Mike Ortiz was in charge of ushering customers into the new space, a former billiards hall which was completely renovated to meet the community’s needs and government regulations. Ortiz and owner Bradley Kyler advised locals to think of the business as “an Apple store, but for cannabis.” They say that as the OCM releases more information about consumption lounge regulations and licensing, a future consumption area could be part of their store before too long.

Throughout the day, operations at Herbal IQ were in full swing, with staff members making the efforts to assure guests that if they wanted to stop by the store, they wouldn’t have to wait. “We saw people sitting in their cars in the parking lot,” Ortiz described to News 4. “We went out and dragged them in and said, ‘Hey, come on in… you don’t have to wait.’ We’re not looking into getting you in a line and holding you up. Let’s get you in. Let you experience Herbal IQ. We have some of our top providers here that are working with us so they can help educate our consumers and clients.”

OCM Executive Director Chris Alexander (center) joins dispensary team members for the opening of Statis Cannabis in the Bronx. Screengrab via NY1.

ICYMI: The Bronx’s Statis and Long Island’s Strain Stars Cannabis Retail Dispensaries Made History In Their Communities

Other barrier-breaking openings from earlier this month included the milestone launches of Statis, on 817 East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx, and Strain Stars at 1815 Broadhollow Road in Farmingdale, Long Island. Both locations are significant, as New York City’s highest rate of marijuana arrests over the past decade have taken place in the Bronx, and only four towns on Long Island have approved cannabis retailers to set up shop in their communities. Additionally, both businesses are minority-owned and run by New Yorkers who have been very involved with their respective areas.

CelebStoner founder and veteran cannabis journalist Steve Bloom, who also lives in the Bronx, visited Statis the day after its opening. Owners Emely Chavez and Angel Turuseta plan to direct a percentage of their proceeds from the store back into Bronx community organizations. The current location, which opened on July 6th, is a pop-up and Statis will move to its permanent home at 1412 Jerome Avenue in the fall.

Strain Stars, which opened on July 8th, is headed by siblings Yuvraj Singh and Jasmin Kaur with their cousin Kamaldeep Singh and family friend Tushar Mallick. For several years, Yuvraj has owned and operated the Whitestone Mart gas station, which has served the local community; he also holds a hemp retail license. The new dispensary in Farmingdale carries more than 400 products from 16 state-approved suppliers.

Smacked owner Roland Conner will be the first Black dispensary owner in New York to take his business from pop-up to full buildout (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture

Smacked Prepares For Grand Reopening In Manhattan’s West Village

On Thursday, July 27th, Smacked LLC will unveil its newly-remodeled dispensary at 144 Bleecker Street in Manhattan’s West Village. Owner Roland Conner made history in January as New York State’s first justice-involved entrepreneur to open a cannabis dispensary, and the store was the second CAURD licensed business to open overall. The latest iteration of Smacked will show its metamorphosis from trailblazing pop-up to fully realized vision.

As the state’s inaugural Black-owned dispensary, the retail operation is considered a living embodiment of the New York Social Equity Cannabis Fund’s vision. The Fund was established by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) in order to provide financing for the costs associated with establishing CAURD dispensaries, including location scouting, store design and buildout, and administrative capacity-building services.

Smacked will host an invite-only press conference on July 27th featuring remarks by the OCM’s Executive Director, Chris Alexander, and the principals of the Fund, DASNY’s Lavetta Willis and former NBA player-turned-cannabis advocate Chris Webber. On August 10th, the store will host an official grand reopening for the public, celebrating its landmark evolution as the first CAURD dispensary in New York to go from pop-up to complete build.

Join Gotham And Honeysuckle’s Inaugural Reading Series July 29th: Drake, Poetry, And More

Calling all literature lovers: Join Honeysuckle on Saturday July 29th as we present the first in a monthly reading series at Gotham! Located on 3 East 3rd Street in Manhattan’s East Village, the woman-owned CAURD dispensary will be the setting for transportive events featuring New York writers. For the premiere session, we will celebrate Titles Ruin Everything, the debut poetry collection by Aubrey Graham (AKA iconic rapper Drake) and Kenza Samir.

This initial event will include readings by Goddess Earth, Marissa Zappas, Em Brill, Matt Starr, Rachel Bell, Laura Marie Marciano, Charlie Dulik, and Theo Thimo. For those unfamiliar with the Honeysuckle canon, poetry and literature have been part of our roots since the beginning. Some of our esteemed mentors, earliest supporters, and valued team members have close to 100 books, poems, and journalistic achievements between them, such as Susan Shapiro, Naomi Rosenblatt of Heliotrope Books, Dorri Olds, and the late Patricia Bosworth. We have also spotlighted contributions from many acclaimed and award-winning authors over the years (check out our Books section to learn more).

The reading series is free and open to the public, so please bring your friends and loved ones.

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

New York State currently has 20 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


Find Out More On Social




















Office of Cannabis Management

John Kagia

Sam C. Long


Featured image: Darius Conner, son of Smacked owner Roland Conner, addresses the crowd at the pop-up opening in the West Village, January 2023. The dispensary will be New York State's first to go from pop-up to full buildout this week. (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture