Harlem, cannabis, New York

Harlem Opens First Legal Adult-Use Cannabis Retail Store ‘Gotham Buds’

Legal cannabis has made its way to Harlem, New York, with the grand opening of the city’s first licensed cannabis store.

On Oct. 18, Gotham Buds had its grand opening in Harlem. Located on West 125th Street across from the historic Apollo Theater, the store serves as the first legal adult-use cannabis retail location in Harlem, Columbia Spector reports.

“We’ve got all-star shelves because our Harlem home deserves only the best. And we’re beyond ready to share it with you,” the retailer shared in an Instagram post last week.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Gotham Buds (@gothambuds)

While it’s the first location in Harlem, Gotham Buds is the seventh cannabis retail location in Manhattan since New York City’s Office of Cannabis Management began accepting applications for Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary licenses last year.

It’s been a long time coming for New Yorkers who have started to see an uptick in marijuana stores after the state passed the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act in March 2021 that legalized the recreational sale of cannabis.

Local residents have been sharing their excitement for Gotham Buds’ inception into the Harlem community.

“So excited,” one person wrote about the store’s grand opening.

“OMG, can’t wait to pull up,” added someone else.

In addition to the sale of cannabis, Gotham Buds also offers “luxurious clothing, mind-bending hip-hop music, and industry-leading cannabis smoking accessories,” according to its website.

“The people we service are educated, not only in the world of cannabis but in the world of quality,” it states.

“We provide what you deserve because we think like you. We’re NY born and raised, and we know what it’s like to grow up in Gotham.”

It was quite the process for Gotham Buds after facing opposition from community organizers who initially protested the store’s location near The Apollo, children’s stores, and schools.

“I think the people that were giving them pushback just didn’t understand this industry, the growth potential of it, and the opportunity,” Mitchell Greene, Gotham Buds’ director of business development and community advocacy, said.

“From a health standpoint, I don’t think that they realize that this can be an asset not just from a community, financial impact, but just in terms of job creation, and making sure that the cannabis that people are using is safe.”

Now that the store is open, business appears to be buzzing with locals who are happy with its inclusion in the predominantly Black community.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Gotham Buds (@gothambuds)

“Glad to see you all are finally open!” one person said.