Field guide to local pot dealers

NYC is a lush habitat for a wide variety of herbivores.



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The Overeducated Dealer

How to spot him: There’s a pretty good chance that the know-it-all dude is wearing some insider gear, like a RooR Bong shirt. Or really just anything made of hemp.

Where to find him: These guys are rare and can be hard to track down; you’re going to need to go through a few telephone weed-delivery services.

What kind of bud to expect: “Man, you don’t even know how Sour this Diesel can be...” and so on and so forth.

How to get on his good side: Learn the lingo and be willing to shell out extra bread for that new superstrain.

What really pisses him off: Don’t ask “Hey, dude, you got any cheap shit this time?”

How to become one yourself: Get out the pipe. It’s time to start sampling more weed than a stoner in Amsterdam.

The Clubland Dealer

How to spot him: Rarely does a member of this species emerge from his vehicle. Until you hop in, you’ll only spot a glimpse of him if he rolls down his Bimmer’s tinted windows.

Where to find him: On the West Side, near Quo and Amnesia

What kind of bud to expect: Sativa—you know, so you can still dance when you finally get past the Marquee bouncers—pulled out from his BMW armrest.

How to get on his good side: Don’t complain when he makes you get out a block away from where he picked you up, and pass your clubbing buddies onto him.

What really pisses him off: How many times does he have to tell you not to scuff his leather seats?!?

How to become one yourself: Secure a car, then we’ll talk.

The Friendly Neighborhood Dealer

How to spot him: This species is well-camouflaged with other kids in their early twenties. You may be able to identify him by the large plastic bag filled with other plastic bags he often totes.

Where to find him: Climbing the stairs in your East Village walk-up.

What kind of bud to expect: An assortment of midrange stuff. Choose carefully; some of it sucks.

How to get on his good side: Let him in—all the way in—to your apartment, and don’t keep him there too long while you decide which bag to buy.

What really pisses him off: When he comes to your place and you’re not there.

How to become one yourself: Lose your fear of walking into sketchy apartments, pull your baseball cap over your eyes, and get ready to buzz buzzers.

The Buddy Dealer

How to spot him: A rare find in New York City, the buddy dealer prefers rural and suburban settings. Nonetheless, he is easily identified by his Birkenstock clogs and loose-fitting patched corduroy pants. This guy is ready to do some hanging out.

Where to find him: On your couch...always.

What kind of bud to expect: A gentleman of this order favors the kind of body-high weed that will keep him immobile and planted in your living room watching your Simpsons DVDs for so long that you start thinking real humans are cartoons.

How to get on his good side: Let him hang out, bro. And have plenty of Doritos on hand.

What really pisses him off: What else? Telling him he’s got to hit the road.

How to become one yourself: Get yourself some marijuana, become really friendly, and shut off any sensitivity to other people’s awkwardness.

The New Jersey pot-clinic owner

How to spot him: You’ll never see this species; he’ll always be hidden behind the throng of people clamoring to get into his dispensary.

Where to find him: In New Jersey only. He won’t even think about crossing state lines; the laws are too tight.

What kind of bud to expect: TBD. “It will be a very spotty and inconsistent product,” says Allen St. Pierre, executive director of NORML ( “Technically, the dispensary can grow it themselves, and they probably will do it wrong. Only people who are coming out of the so-called black market have the skill sets to set up such a business, but New Jersey doesn’t allow people who have a felony to be involved in the operation.”

How to get on his good side: Have a note from your doc. “Qualifying medical conditions are fairly specific and include cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, ALS, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, seizures, et cetera,” says Ken Wolski, RN, executive director of New Jersey’s Coalition for Medical Marijuana ( “The New Jersey law is very restrictive and many patients who could benefit will find themselves not qualified under the law. Additional qualifying conditions will be added at a later time.”

What pisses him off: When you bring a doctor’s note that says you suffer from writer’s block. This isn’t California, dude.

How to become one yourself: Info about how to open an Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) will be available in April (the program is expected to be up and running in July). “Prospective centers will have to convince the DHSS that they will be capable of doing everything related to running an ATC,” Wolski says, which means “producing a quality product in sufficient quantity to meet the needs of a potentially large number of patients, processing the medicine and accounting for every ounce they distribute, all while providing for 24-hour security over every aspect of the operation.”

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