The first licensed adult-used weed retail dispensary in New York has sold weed worth $12 million only six months after opening. On Monday, the owner of Housing Works Cannabis Co. located in Greenwich Village, Manhattan said his company sold double its expectations.
The weed retailer uses proceeds from sales to support needy New Yorkers affected by HIV/AIDS, the homeless, health equity and social justice initiatives advocacy, drugs and tobacco addicts, and many other cases. The dispensary opened on December 29 last year to great excitement by New Yorkers.
Empowering New Yorkers
The retail manager at the dispensary Sasha Nutgent said the goal of Housing Works for the past 30 years has focused on empowering New York residents by advocating and bridging communities to life-improving services. Being the first licensed New York marijuana retailer, Sasha said the brand carefully selects products for their customers.
The Housing Works retail manager said every activity that goes on at the dispensary is aimed to meet a greater goal and he was fascinated by the support their goal is receiving. An insider in the Cannabis market said the excellent sales were impressive. Disabled Veterans in Cannabis Association co-founder Osbert Orduna said that figure was a “very good and excellent sales number.” Workers at the dispensary said on busy days, they serve up to 1,000 unique customers.
Housing Works Cannabis Co. sold $40,000 in three hours on its first day
After receiving its New York cannabis retail license, Housing Works started operations on December 29 last year. Within the first 3 hours, the retailer had sold about $40,000. Within the first month, the retailer sold about 1.6 million and in its first 6 months of business, the first New York marijuana retailers recorded an estimated 12 million in weed sales.
The company continues to record strong customer retention and sales. Sources from Housing Works said the profits were mainly coming from flower sales, especially from Sativa hybrid strains. The sources say customers buying sleep-inducing and anxiety-reduction drugs were on the increase and mainly buy edible marijuana products.
Consumer choices insights from the New York cannabis retail license operator show most buyers make purchase decisions based on weed potency. The insights say there is a need to educate customers more on the various uses of cannabis. The insights further say customers at the first New York marijuana retailer store are both locals and tourists alike.
Product rollout has been a major unforeseen challenge
Before receiving its New York cannabis retail license, Housing Works had readied itself to roll out a long list of products. Unforeseen to them, this became a big challenge and pain point for customers. Sasha said this challenge affects New York marijuana retailers too although they are making major progress on improvements. He gave an example where there were complaints from back-owned brands that funding to help get products to consumers is still a challenge. Sashi said Housing Works rolled out several unique brands recently including:
- Brelixi, the first black-owned brand
- Fat Nell, a women-owned brand
- Flamer and Drew Martin, a queer-owned brand
- The Weekenders, a people of color-owned brand
New York passed a legalization bill for the adult use of cannabis in 2021. The then Governor Andrew Cuomo praised the move saying it was essential to the economic health of the state.
2.7 million New Yorkers consume cannabis
A survey shows New York has an estimated 2.7 million weed users who consume weed at least once per month. Although the state has a huge market, the survey shows marijuana laws creation and implementation have been moving at a painfully slow pace which is increasing obstacles in the New York marijuana retailers business.
The total number of retailers that have received a New York cannabis retail license to begin operations in the state is 21. Nine are based in New York City and the rest are distributed across all other cities in the state. In the meantime, Mayor Eric Adams says the Big Apple has about 1,500 illegal pot retailers. He said the state has enhanced operations to crack down the illegal operators following the recent approval of a law that allows stiff penalties against illegal retailers.
The law was signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul. On Monday, the Governor released a statement saying the state government has closed down the first lot of illegal shops since the new law came into effect. The governor said already the authorities have closed seven unlicensed operators and they potentially face hefty fines that could translate into millions.
Since the enforcement of the new law began, Hochul reported the authorities have seized more than 1,000 pounds of illegal marijuana and illicit products worth over $11 million. The Governor said the success was due to coordinated efforts between the government and the public. Hochul said illegal cannabis sales put at risk the lives of many New Yorkers. The sales violate public laws and undermine both public health and the legal market.
The first phase of operations sends a clear signal to illegal retailers that they will be caught and stopped. The new law allows courts to fine illegal operators starting from $10,000 and could rise to $20,000 daily for those found with serious misconduct. New York State legalized the medical use of cannabis in 2016 but it has been facing challenges due to illegal operators but the new law will help bring this problem to an end.
Housing Works add 200 new products
Recently, the Housing Works dispensary introduced 200 new products to its menu. Seven of the new products are from social equity brands but minority producers in New York State are still facing challenges in their production lines. The Housing Works retail manager says he has seen major improvements recently in the production and testing lines in the state.
Apart from being the first cannabis retail dispensary in New York, Housing Works Cannabis Co. is also the first marijuana delivery service provider in the state. Its cannabis delivery sector has a market share of about 5% to 7%. The company delivers to select areas in the City including Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. Customers who buy directly from the store receive same-day delivery service while those who buy online receive next-day delivery service.