Today The Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store, celebrated its one-year anniversary in New York’s legal market. Formerly known as Union Square Travel Agency, the retailer was the state’s third licensed CAURD location to open. It has become one of the Empire State’s premier retailers, beloved by celebrities, advocates, and everyday consumers alike.

The Travel Agency Union Square's store at 835 Broadway (C) The Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store

The Travel Agency Union Square's Successful First Year

In its initial twelve months of operation, The Travel Agency Union Square has seen great success. Serving over 125,000 consumers between its brick-and-mortar store at 835 Broadway and its delivery offerings in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, the business has generated approximately $5 million in tax revenue for New York State while creating 120 jobs. Just weeks ago, the company expanded its footprint by launching The Travel Agency Downtown Brooklyn, owned by CAURD licensee GMDSS LLC, which is currently operating out of a pop-up on 118-122 Flatbush Avenue.

(C) The Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store

The Travel Agency's Partnership With The Doe Fund

The Travel Agency’s co-founder and President Arana Hankin-Biggers describes the business as “a public-private partnership between The Doe Fund, a not-for-profit who owns the majority of the company and receive over half the proceeds, and Harbour Community, a woman-founded and BIPOC-founded group of New Yorkers who are passionate about cannabis and operate [the store].” This overarching partnership has definitely been a highlight of the year, as The Doe Fund empowers individuals experiencing homelessness and provides support for reentry after incarceration. Financial distributions from The Travel Agency Union Square to The Doe Fund coincide with the nonprofit staffing key supportive services positions including case managers, job coaches, and housing specialists; starting mindfulness and mental health care programs in the organization's portfolio of transitional, affordable, and supportive housing; and exploration of innovative new job sector trainings in living wage and emerging industries.

Hankin-Biggers identifies the collaboration as one of The Travel Agency Union Square’s proudest accomplishments. “[We’re also] helping provide a platform for other organizations that look to the legal cannabis industry to repair the damage done by the failed war on drugs,” she says.  “We continue to be committed to supporting marginalized groups who normally would not have access to economic opportunities in this new industry, supporting BIPOC, women, and LGBTQIA+ founders, and helping to eradicate the stigma around this incredible plant, while educating consumers about the benefits of consuming legal cannabis. This is a core part of The Travel Agency’s mission.”

"We've seen firsthand how the criminalization of cannabis disproportionately impacted those we serve,” states Jennifer Mitchell, President and CEO of The Doe Fund.  “Our partnership with The Travel Agency Union Square reinvests revenue from cannabis sales into the same individuals and communities. In doing so, The Travel Agency is critical to our work advancing restorative justice."

The Travel Agency Union Square's unique Flower Lounge, part of its success in winning multiple Clio Cannabis Awards (C) The Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store

The Travel Agency's Year Of Accolades, Advocacy, And Celebrity Shoppers

Other high points from the retailer’s incredible first year include winning three Clio Cannabis Awards for retail, brand design, and public relations; and participating in various community events such as The NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally, Revelry Block Party, The Village Trip, Affordable Art Fair, and NYC Pride. The dispensary has also hosted multiple celebrity shoppers. Noted cannabis advocate and comedian Sarah Silverman memorably brought The Daily Show to film a segment at the store during her hosting stint. 

Amy Sedaris guest budtends at The Travel Agency Union Square in September 2023 while being interviewed by CelebStoner founder Steve Bloom and Honeysuckle Editor-At-Large Jaime Lubin (C) Keith Saunders

Amy Sedaris's Star Turn Guest Budtending At The Travel Agency Union Square

Another famous lady of laughs, actress and writer Amy Sedaris, spent a day at The Travel Agency Union Square as a guest budtender in September. While a line draped around the block as customers waited for a meet-and-greet, she graciously answered questions in a joint interview conducted by Honeysuckle’s Editor-At-Large Jaime Lubin and CelebStoner founder, veteran cannabis journalist Steve Bloom. Her witty observations in the impromptu session proved a fine link between the plant and the power of creative expression.

On her own consumption habits, Sedaris noted, “I don't overdo it. I don't sit home and get high by myself. But I enjoy it. I like to use it as a tool, if I have to be creative and come up with some fun idea or just want to hang out with friends and have a silly time.”

Elaborating on the idea of cannabis as a creative aid, she added, “Yeah, it helps. Or you might do a project and you didn’t get high, but you think about the idea for it and you get high afterward. Then you’re like, ‘Goddamn it, why didn’t I think about that?’ But I don’t work high [on set].”

Sedaris in The Travel Agency Union Square's Flower Lounge (C) The Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store

When the comedian publicly “came out” about smoking cannabis years ago, she mentioned occasionally consuming around her pet rabbit Tina. Answering the question of whether this was still a habit, she replied, “If I do, I’m in the kitchen and he’s in the living room. [Despite the name, Tina is a male rabbit.] But I’ve done it on purpose before, when I’ve had to take him to the vet and he was freaking out. It kind of helped him calm down a little bit… But I don’t blow in his face [and] I don’t do it in the same room.”

“That’s a nice bonding experience with him,” Lubin observed.

“Yeah, especially when they’re young,” the animal lover responded with a smile. “They can be assholes and bossy, so it just mellows them out… ‘Cause rabbits are always freaking out. They’re like, ‘Someone’s gonna eat me!’ So it just takes the edge off them a bit."

Asked how she came to be a guest budtender, she enthusiastically affirmed, “I shop here and they asked me, and I was like, ‘Let me think about it… YES!’”

A selection of smokeware displayed at The Travel Agency Union Square (C) The Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store

New York Consumer Insights From The Travel Agency Union Square

Sedaris is a great example of the dedicated consumer that The Travel Agency Union Square has drawn over the past twelve months. In fact, the company’s customer base spans five generations (from Gen Z to the Silent Generation), with an age range of 21 to 91. The store’s traffic has allowed the business to compile and analyze data presenting an insightful glimpse into New Yorkers’ consumption patterns. 

As far as preference of consumption methods, the purchase of Vaporizers led the way at 29.3 percent, followed by 28 percent Flower, 20 percent Edibles, 16.6 percent Pre-Rolls, and 6.1 percent buying other products like Concentrates, Tinctures, Topicals, CBD, and Accessories. The revenue for this first year was generated across the sale of items in these nine categories, comprising 102 brands and over 1,000 products.  The Travel Agency’s portfolio is carefully curated around consumer needs and various price points.  Consistent with an emerging market, their data shows the consumer is more inclined to purchase edibles, vaporizers, and pre-rolls from a legal dispensary as they see buying legal having additional safety regulations versus the illegal stores.

“It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come in our first year,” comments Paul Yau, co-founder of The Travel Agency. “We’re proud to be one of the leaders in New York’s legal cannabis market. It’s amazing to see the impact we’ve had, whether through new job creation, serving New Yorkers with safe tested products, supporting the thousands of men at The Doe Fund, or contributing a significant amount of tax revenue to the state, we are testament to the success of the legal cannabis program in New York. We are extremely supportive of the ongoing rollout of legal cannabis in New York, the closure of illegal stores, and the continued growth of the legal industry and all its benefits.”

For more about The Travel Agency, visit

Find Out More On Social




















The Travel Agency

The Doe Fund

Arana Hankin-Biggers

Paul F. Yau

Stu Zakim

Steve Bloom

Keith Saunders

Jaime Lubin


Featured image: Amy Sedaris guest budtends at The Travel Agency Union Square, September 2023 (C) The Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store