Where to buy weed in lower east side manhattan

Where to Buy Weed in NYC: The Best Pot Shops in the LES

Our guide to the best grey market dispensaries, smoke shops, and weed speakeasies found in downtown Manhattan's Lower East Side. Including Granny Za's, Legacy, Street Lawyer Services, and more.

– “Enjoy yourself, light up, but most importantly, spend some money.” ~ Mayor Eric Adams

In case you missed our last 420-friendly store and dispensary guide, let’s rehash some specs about the current status of weed legality in New York. 

If you live in New York City and smoke weed, you’re almost certainly aware of the “weed bodegas” and grey market dispensaries that have sprouted on nearly every block since the state legalized adult-use cannabis in March 2021. 

Weed may be legal, yes, but the state is still in the process of setting up its retail system, so technically no businesses are currently allowed to sell weed (though many are in the process of applying for licenses). So, for the time being, police are mostly embracing a policy of noninterference, resulting in a proliferation of unlicensed businesses that sell untaxed (and untested) marijuana products. 

There are literally hundreds of semi-legal brick-and-mortar shops that peddle pot, from the casual corner store and tobacco smoke shops that keep mylar bags in their window displays, to more explicit dispensary-style operations with names like Puff & Peace, Granny Za’s, Weed World, and so on. We’d also be remiss not to mention the weed buses that cruise around the city, selling kush out their windows like Marijuana Mister Softee trucks. 

While these operations are fairly shameless in advertising their 420-friendly vibes, there are also a handful of discreet art galleries-cum-cannabis dispensaries that allow customers to buy a piece of art (often physical prints, as well as QR downloads of JPEGs) that come with the added bonus of “free weed.” Of course, the price of said art is contingent on the value of the accompanying green, but the gifting model — as the loophole is called — has led to a number of operations that have the vibe of a hybrid high-end sneaker shop, gallery, and cannabis speakeasy rolled into one. 

So for the time being, weed shops are omnipresent in the city. And if you’re new here, or new to consuming weed, it can be tough to figure out what pot shops are legit, and which sell that Delta-8 crap that will immediately give you a headache. 

For today’s guide, we want to highlight some pot shops in the Lower East Side between Houston and Delancey. Out of any neighborhood in Manhattan, this area may very well have the highest concentrations of grey market operations. There are literally dozens, and some streets like Stanton even have neighboring dispensaries. Many of these spots lean towards bootleg bodega za, but there are a few standouts! 

Read our guide to five of the best places to get bud in downtown Manhattan and stay tuned for an upcoming video feature where we document the LES’s many spots to cop weed. 

Granny Za’s
81 Rivington Street

Highlights: The shop is small, but the vibes are huge at this grey market dispensary on Stanton. Inside, there’s a rolling station, two dispensary counters, apparel, and even a weed wheel that customers get to spin for a chance to win some extra swag. When Cash Only toured the spot, the whole staff wanted to party and chop it up about our favorite plant. The budtenders had us cracking the hell up, too. Compared to other dispensaries in the area, this one may be the friendliest and most welcoming, a blessing at a time when many shops are skeptical or downright cagey to novice cannabis users. 

Street Lawyer Services
85 Stanton Street

Highlights: Situated a block from Granny Za’s (and adjacent to several less impressive weed bodegas), Street Lawyer Services is a spacious, clean dispensary with a consumption lounge in the back. The staff is friendly but security will immediately toss your ass out if you take a pic. The shop sells nuanced products, too, such as weed-infused Cholula and Sriracha. Take out cash first, unless you want to pay extra fees. 

40 Clinton Street

Highlights: This shop is definitely for the OG heads and has a distinct “born and raised in New York” feel, as the name suggests. NYC NEW YORK CANNABIS™ embraces the gifting model, so customers buy apparel and get a comparable amount of weed with each purchase. They sell cool shirts and hats featuring 420 remixes of NYC-specific imagery, such as the parks department logo and fitted Yankees caps. The strain selection leans towards pricey exotics, but they definitely have Big Apple classics like Sour Diesel, too. 

St.ned Pizza Night Club
Broome Street

Highlights: As documented in our recent video feature, this is NYC’s most impressive social consumption space to date — a true weed nightclub and speakeasy run by the infamous “Pizza Pusha.” 

For $140, guests are offered a three-course infused meal, unlimited cannabis cocktails, live music, and more. Plus, it’s BYOC and there’s a dispensary inside, so you can smoke as much as your heart desires while munching on pot-filled pizza. This is a must-visit for anyone trying to impress tokers from out of town. Smoking is allowed inside, liquor is not. 

Empire Cannabis Club
172 Allen Street

Highlights: One of the more formal-looking shops in Manhattan, with locations in the LES and Chelsea. Looks like an Apple store, smells like a dispensary. Offers both licensed cannabis products and underground wares, as well as an online menu for pick-ups and delivery. They also sell weed-infused ice cream. Expect security guards and lines out the door. 

98 Orchard Street

Highlights: Gallery-style shop run by hip-hop heavy hitters. Expect high-priced, premium strains that are gifted to customers after you buy a digital download in the $60-100 range. Don’t be surprised if Talib Kweli or Dave Chappelle make a cameo. Also check out their sister store Gifted BK in Williamsburg. 

Stay tuned for our video tour of the LES’s grey market dispensary scene, as well as future neighborhood-specific weed shop guides.

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