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It seems like you can’t go anywhere in New York City without encountering a little (or a lot of) weed. Where’s the best place to go to shop for a great selection, safe products, and helpful advice? Knowing what to look for in a dispensary — and what to avoid — guides you as you look for the best spot in New York City to shop for cannabis.

 

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This is a list of what a customer can expect when they shop at the best dispensary in New York City. The list is written in black text on a turquoise background. The headline says "A great dispensary..." and the points include: is licensed, has a big product selection, has helpful budtenders, is an experience, offers easy ways to order, boasts quick service, and is in a central location. Red stars are used as bullet points.

 

The 7 qualities that make a dispensary great

It’s easy to feel like you just know a great dispensary when you walk into one, but breaking down some of the green flags that make you feel that way can help you better identify a quality location. These seven things are must-haves in the best cannabis dispensaries.

 

A great dispensary is licensed

First things first: Is the spot legit?

 

When you choose a licensed dispensary, you’re shopping in a regulated environment with assurance of product quality and safety. All cannabis products sold in a licensed dispensary are tested by third-party laboratories to ensure they meet consumer safety standards established by the state of New York.

You can also request the results of this test from a licensed dispensary so you know exactly what’s in the products you’re buying. Some products even include a QR code on the label that links directly to these results. It’s all about full transparency at every step of the process, from soil to shelf.

 

Nearly every aspect of the dispensary experience is influenced by its legal status, including:

 

Safety: Licensed dispensaries are required to have security measures in place.

Authenticity: Products at licensed dispensaries are bona-fide, straight from the brand.

Community: Dispensary dollars go back to New Yorkers, from buying products from New York farms to hiring New Yorkers to allocate proceeds to community initiatives like The Doe Fund

 

 

A great dispensary has a big product selection

Gone are the days when your choices are limited to whatever the Weedman has on hand. The best recreational dispensaries have a huge selection to choose from, with products to suit every mood and occasion. An easy-to-navigate online menu enables browsing by product type, brand, THC content, and more. Bonus points if each product listing includes information like cannabinoid content, terpene profile, and product photos. Check out what’s in stock before heading in or ordering cannabis products for delivery.

 

 

A great dispensary has helpful budtenders

Friendly, expert budtenders on staff show that the dispensary is committed to guiding you through the best possible experience. If you’re unsure about what to expect from a product, need recommendations, or are curious about how a certain device works, your budtender should be readily available to support you with a smile. The very best dispensaries have proactive staff that will greet you as you come in and ask if they can help you with anything.

 

A great dispensary is an experience

Purchasing cannabis isn’t just a transaction — it can be deeply personal. To that end, the best dispensaries strive to create a physical space that inspires and uplifts you as you scroll the menu or chat with a budtender. Pay attention to the details that shape your experience, from educational experiences to the signage on the walls. Carefully-curated spaces are designed to best help you along your journey at every touchpoint.

 

 

A great dispensary offers easy ways to order

Are you more of a “get your stuff and go” type of shopper, or do you like to browse in the shop? What if you don’t want to leave your house at all to shop? The best dispensaries offer several ordering options that provide choice and ease of use for anyone who walks in the door (or visits the website). Look for a dispensary that offers:

 

  • Online ordering for in-store pickup
  • In-store kiosk ordering for quick stops
  • Online order for delivery to your home
  • In-store browsing, guided or unaided by a budtender

 

A great dispensary boasts quick service

Once you know what you want to buy and place your order, it shouldn’t take very long to fulfill it. Quick service is key, so the best dispensaries will have enough staff to get your products, complete your transaction, and get you back to your day (and your sesh) in no time.

 

A great dispensary is in a central location

In many cities, dispensaries are off the beaten path quite literally, tucked away in industrial parks and on the outskirts of town. Not so in New York City, where dispensaries are found sandwiched between eateries and boutiques. And in NYC, your dispensary’s address makes all the difference when it comes time to visit the store. Look for dispensaries near subway stops that make stopping in after work, on your lunch break, or on the way to spend a relaxing day in the city a cinch. At The Travel Agency, we’re a short walk from the 14th Street – Union Square subway station, where you can catch the 4/5/6, L, and N/Q/R lines to our dispensary. Our Downtown Brooklyn location is similarly easy to get to, right down the block from Barclays Center and steps from the 2, 3, 4, and 5 trains.

 

Ready to shop? Check out our NYC dispensary FAQs first

 

Does New York City have any recreational dispensaries?

NYC is home to several adult-use cannabis dispensaries. To ensure you’re shopping at a licensed cannabis dispensary in NYC, check out New York State’s list of officially-licensed locations.

 

Can I go to a dispensary without a card in NY?

Yes, you can go to any adult-use cannabis dispensary in NYC without a medical marijuana patient identification card. You will, however, need a government-issued ID that shows you are at least 21 years old to shop at an adult-use dispensary. You will not be permitted to shop at a medical cannabis dispensary without a patient ID card, though, so check to make sure the dispensary you’re going to serves adult-use customers first.

 

How much can you buy from a dispensary at a time in NY?

Adults who are at least 21 years old can buy up to three ounces of cannabis flower and up to 24 grams of cannabis concentrates at any given time. Concentrates include cannabis oil, extracts, tinctures, edibles, and vapes.

Can you buy cannabis in New York City without a medical cannabis card?

Yes. Legal adult-use cannabis means that anyone aged 21 and older can buy cannabis in New York City.

When did New York legalize cannabis?

New York legalized adult-use cannabis in 2021. The Travel Agency was the third dispensary in Manhattan to open its doors in February 2023.

What’s the best thing to try at a dispensary?

 

Well, that answer is up to you. The Travel Agency has options for sipping your cannabis with THC beverages, rolling a joint with flower proudly grown in the Empire State, and so much more. No matter the adventure you want to go on, there’s something for you on our menu. Ask our budtenders for their advice if you want some expert guidance.

 

The Travel Agency: A destination-worthy shopping experience

Options for pickup and delivery, a menu with more than 300 product choices, and budtenders well-versed in cannabis: The Travel Agency makes buying cannabis easy and enjoyable. Kickstart your next adventure with a stop by our Union Square location, steps from multiple subway lines and bus stops, or our Downtown Brooklyn location, right next to Barclays.

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