New York may have Legalized recreational marijuana in 2021, but the state has yet to pass legislation allowing it to be sold in stores or consumed at club-like lounges – moves that would open the door to potential $4.2 billion industry.
While permits and licenses are not expected to be issued until the end of the year, with businesses up and running by 2023, the recreational cannabis industry has already begun to grow. The events aim to educate consumers and drum up excitement.
In November, the World Cannabis Congress and Business Expo took place at the Javits Center. Over the course of three days, vendors displayed items they hoped would one day sell in New York, and attendees spoke of their eagerness to see the stigma about Cannabis consumption is abolished.
Arnaud Dumas de Rauly, Co-Founder and CEO of The Blinc group, the company that manufactures and sells vapes, spoke about the purpose of the event. “I think it just creates a lot of buzz,” he said. “However, we are in the middle where everything is open and people will come here to learn about the industry.”
Once the legalization goes into effect, he hopes to see new types of spaces open up in the city that cater to cannabis users. “I would love to see consumer lounges pop up here,” said Mr. Arnaud.
Faye Coleman, CEO of Pure Genesis, a cannabis business with a social mission, attended the fair to showcase her company’s products and to talk about equity in the industry in terms of agency and accessibility. In history, Blacks and Latinos have been arrested and jailed for marijuana-related crimes at much higher rates than whites.; For that reason, some cannabis activists say, many have Reluctance to associate with cannabis-related businesseseven the legal ones.
“Those are some of the things that are hindering diversity, equity and inclusion, and I would say stigma and confusion,” Ms. Coleman said.
Hundreds of expo attendees engaged in conversations about the future of legal cannabis, seminars on cultivation techniques, marketing, sustainability, and presentations that provided insight. on the international market. All around are signs of what New York City will look like as soon as all the regulations are in place.
Last summer, a lifestyle brand in New York City called Happy Munkey tested the waters for “consumption events” with a few nights of marijuana infusion at Van Gogh role-playing exhibit at Pier 36, a 75,000-square-foot waterfront space on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
Masked guests, instructed to dress in all-white, enter the lobby to view an imaginative 3-D reconstruction of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” (there are approximately 7,500 in-house brushes). designed by David Korins), then went through a gallery and joined the artist’s work and vision.
Cannabis consumption is not allowed inside the gallery. Outside, however, smoke filled the riverside air and the witches were consumed.
Technically, no marijuana was sold at the event. But in the Happy Munkey package, along with the ticket for Immersive Van Gogh, are generously packaged pre-roll joints. The event is advertised as “BYOC” – “bring your own cannabis”.
Happy Munkey co-founders Ramon Reyes and Vladimir Bautista – both from the Dominican Republic and raised in New York City – founded the brand five years ago and started hosting related events to cannabis in 2017. After Mr. Reyes traveled to Amsterdam, where he visited several cannabis coffee shops, he told Bautista he wanted to provide the same feeling and experience. for their own city, with a local character.
“New York would just give it the pizza we needed,” he recalls telling his business partner. “That New York touch. That life flies in New York. ”
Chantae Vetrice, a hip-hop and pop artist, attended the premiere of Immersive Van Gogh with her boyfriend, Stephen Ship. While there, she joked with the show’s head of marketing, Keith Hurd, about wanting to see the exhibit under the influence of cannabis. The next day Mr. Hurd called them and asked: How can they make this a fact?
Mr. Ship, Mr. Hurd’s friend, asked Ms. Vetrice to contact the founders of Happy Munkey to see if they would like to collaborate. The company – in addition to organizing events, selling merchandise, and producing multimedia content – helped her produce a single, “Eleised”.
“We have arranged meetings with Keith, Vlad and Ramon,” Ms. Vetrice said. “They love the idea and they just follow it. And it was a success. ”
She hopes that further collaboration between arts organizations and cannabis companies is underway. “I think it can bring two distinct communities together and eliminate the use of cannabis,” Ms Vetrice said.
Maria Shclover, producer Van Gogh plays the role exhibition, also expressed excitement about synergy. “Happy Munkey is a local minority owned business and we want to support minority owned businesses, as we are first generation immigrants ourselves,” she said. “Now that marijuana is legal, this partnership seems like the best thing to do in New York.”
In addition to Happy Munkey, which has made its invitation-only events public in the past, there are other signs of New York coming.
Club Astor, a members-only cannabis club that opens on the Lower East Side in 2020, has attracted those in the pot industry. And the big events seem to be here to stay: The World Cannabis Congress and the next Business Expo will take place this summer. And Happy Munkey’s next cannabis consumption event will be held on April 20.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/25/style/cannabis-events-new-york-city.html Cannabis event breaks out of hiding in New York City