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New York’s First Recreational Dispensary to Open in Manhattan

Major milestone for New York market comes to fruition through state’s prioritizing of social equity licenses.




750 Broadway at 1-7 Astor Place, located in the NoHo Historic District, is the site of New York, NY’s first recreational cannabis dispensary. PHOTO: NYCLPC

Manhattan will officially go green on Dec. 29, 2022 with the soft opening of Housing Works Cannabis Co, — the first recreational cannabis dispensary in the state of New York. The storefront located at 750 Broadway in the Astor Place neighborhood is operated by Housing Works, an iconic nonprofit dedicated to relentless advocacy and lifesaving services for tens of thousands of New Yorkers in need.

“At our core, we’re a healing community dedicated to providing housing, healthcare and vocational programs for New Yorkers,” says Charles King, CEO of Housing Works. “This opportunity will not only give our team the resources to further our overall mission, but to feature and elevate products coming from LGBTQ+, BIPOC and women-led cannabis brands across the state.”

Charles King, CEO and one of the founders of Housing Works. PHOTO HOUSING WORKS

King is one of the founders of Housing Works. He holds both a law degree and a Master of Divinity from Yale University and is an ordained Baptist Minister. His Housing Works project was one of the eight nonprofits awarded a Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries (CAURD) license by the New York State Office of Cannabis Management. Housing Works provides assistance with housing, health care, mental health, chemical dependency services, legal, advocacy, and job training and employment for homeless men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic conditions.

Until being handed the key to the Big Apple’s first recreational, Housing Works operated a bookstore and several thrift locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as providing community healthcare services. All proceeds from dispensary sales will be directed to parent organization Housing Works, founded in 1990 to address the dual crises of HIV/AIDS and homelessness. The self-sustaining nonprofit provides job opportunities, legal advocacy and comprehensive housing and health services funded, in part, by revenues from its thrift stores, SoHo bookstore and now its cannabis dispensary.

“This is a once in a lifetime moment,” said Sasha Nutgent, Store Manager of Housing Works Cannabis Co. “That said, our nonprofit’s mission remains as urgent as ever. We are eager to take the lead as a social equity model for America’s cannabis industry, specifically with our hiring practices and continued support of individuals and communities disproportionately impacted by the unjust War on Drugs.”


Spanning 4,400 square feet, the renowned building in the NoHo Historic District  housing the dispensary was completed in 1883 and designed by the firm of Starkweather & Gibbs. The neo-Greco building was constructed as a hotel and boardinghouse with ground-level retail stores. Located at 750 Broadway in Manhattan, the dispensary will be open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Hours will adjust in the coming weeks.

“With its history of supporting New Yorkers, particularly formerly incarcerated individuals, we’re proud that Housing Works is seizing this opportunity to grow its resources and deliver more for New Yorkers,” said Chris Alexander, Executive Director for the Office of Cannabis Management. “When this store opens, consumers will have the opportunity to purchase tested, safer products grown by family farmers across New York State, reducing risk while supporting their communities.”

As part of its soft opening on Thursday, Dec. 29, Housing Works Cannabis Co will host a news conference at 10 a.m. with scheduled appearances by elected officials, ahead of opening to the public at 4:20 p.m. Learn more at



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