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Opening of Housing Works Cannabis Co, the First Recreational Cannabis Dispensary in New York
Photograph: Gary Gershoff | The scene of the opening of Housing Works Cannabis Co, the first recreational cannabis dispensary in NY.

Housing Works Cannabis Co. brought in $12 million during its first six months

New York State’s first-ever licensed recreational cannabis dispensary saw as many as 1,000 unique visitors on busy days.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

When Housing Works Cannabis Co. opened at the end of December 2022, it was the very first recreational cannabis dispensary in New York to open with the government’s blessing—and the line of excited customers roped its way around the corner for days on end.

In the first three hours of its opening on Dec. 29, 2022, Housing Works Cannabis Co. saw an estimated $40,000 in sales, according to the nonprofit that operates it.

The hype did not die down, at least not sales-wise. It saw over $1.6 million in the first month and an estimated $12 million in the first six months of operations, according to an analysis it released this week.

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The shop saw as many as 1,000 unique visitors on busy days with deliveries accounting for about 5-7% of sales. That’s not surprising, given that New York City is said to be the biggest consumer of cannabis in the world (believe it). 

This is great news because the dispensary’s sales proceeds go directly to helping New Yorkers with healthcare, housing, job training, harm reduction, case management, advocacy for health equity and social justice initiatives, LGBTQ+ youth programs and sexual health services.

“Our goal, going back over 30 years ago through Housing Works, has been to empower New Yorkers through advocacy and bridge communities to life-saving services,” said Sasha Nutgent, Retail Manager at Housing Works Cannabis Co. “From the resources we’ve rolled out, to the brands we carefully select for our customers, everything we do here has a greater purpose and we’re humbled to see the support our mission is receiving.”

Housing Works Cannabis Co
Photograph: Shaye Weaver/Time Out New York

What did consumers buy most of these past six months? They tend to prefer sativa and sativa-leaning hybrid strains, with flower representing the top-selling product category, Housing Works says. It also found that those who come in seeking edibles typically look for products that promote sleep and mitigate anxiety.

Seeing its popularity, the dispensary added 200 new products to its menu with more from queer-, BIPOC- and women-owned and led companies. Housing Works Cannabis Co. currently carries seven social equity brands, with more coming soon, it says.

Some of these brands include Brelixi, Fat Nell, The Weekenders and Flamer and Drew Martin.

“One unforeseen challenge and a pain point for both retailers and customers has been product rollout,” Nutgent said. “There have been major improvements with the state’s product testing timeline, for example, but the feedback we still hear from some Black-owned brands is that there is not enough funding to get their products into the market.”

We’re here for any brand that boosts BIPOC- and women-owned businesses! You can visit Housing Works Cannabis Co. at 750 Broadway, 11am to 7pm Sundays through Thursdays and from 11am to 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

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