Cannabis laws and regulations have been progressively changing in recent years. Adult-use recreational marijuana became legal in the state in early 2021.
The city’s legal dispensaries offer a diverse selection of products and experiences. Each shop offers something unique, from the upscale ambiance at MedMen to the community-focused approach at Citiva.
Citiva: A Community-Focused Approach
Citiva stands out not just for its diverse selection of cannabis products but also for its unique additional offerings. Beyond the usual cannabis fare, Citiva is a one-stop-shop for distinctive items such as jewelry, hats, books, and pottery, making it a destination for those seeking both cannabis and unique gifts.
Medical Resource Focus
One of Citiva’s notable features is its commitment to serving as a medical resource for the community. With pharmacists on-site, the local dispensaries in my area aim to provide a safe space for patients to purchase cannabis and gain education about the benefits of medical marijuana. The staff undergoes extensive training to assist customers in navigating the complex landscape of cannabis, including potential interactions with other medications.
Citiva’s vision extends beyond its initial brick-and-mortar location in Brooklyn. The company has plans to open two more locations in Staten Island and upstate New York, showcasing its dedication to reaching a broader community with its community-focused approach.
Columbia Care: Industry Leadership and Customer Comfort
Columbia Care, a major player in the cannabis industry, operates both medical marijuana dispensaries and retail locations. The Manhattan dispensary caters specifically to patients with debilitating illnesses, offering a comprehensive range of products, from capsules to edibles, vape pens, and topicals.
The dispensary’s spacious and modern design prioritizes customer comfort and education. With an absence of stereotypical marijuana plant designs on its exterior, Columbia Care aims to create an environment that is both welcoming and informative. The knowledgeable staff ensures a positive experience for customers seeking information about the available products.
With 125 facilities across the United States, Columbia Care is a leader in the industry. The company’s upcoming store in Albany, located in the Eastman Kodak Business Park, exemplifies its commitment to expanding operations while adhering to New York’s regulations.
Etain: Elevating the Dispensary Experience
Etain distinguishes itself with a vertically integrated approach, manufacturing its own cannabis products. This strategy allows the dispensary to maintain control over product quality, fostering creativity and innovation within the highly regulated cannabis industry.
Founded in 2015, Etain Health secured one of the original five medical marijuana licenses in New York State. The CEO, Amy Peckham, driven by personal experiences as a caretaker, ensures a patient-centric approach to providing safe and effective medical marijuana treatments. Etain’s dispensaries, located in Murray Hill, Hell’s Kitchen, and other areas, are designed to offer pharmaceutical-grade medical marijuana.
Etain’s commitment to ideation and creation is exemplified by products like the Motif magnetic vape pen. This dedication to innovation aims to enhance the overall experience for patients, providing them with effective and high-quality medical marijuana treatments.
The company also operates an online store, providing a convenient option for patients who don’t live near a physical location. This online presence further extends Etain’s commitment to making medical marijuana accessible to a broader audience.
Vireo Health: Physician-Led Excellence and Legal Challenges
Vireo Health operates as a physician-led medical marijuana company, focusing on cultivating and manufacturing pharmaceutical-grade cannabis. The company adheres to rigorous standards, offering a range of products, including tinctures, edibles, vaporizer oils, and flowers, in regulated and safe environments.
Commitment to Science and Medicine
Founded by physicians and scientists who believe in the health benefits of cannabis, Vireo Health incorporates science, technology, and medicine into its practices. With a mission to improve health outcomes, the company operates dispensaries in various locations, including Queens, Albany, White Plains, and Binghamton.
Vireo Health has faced legal challenges, notably in a lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment to distribute hemp-derived THC edibles. The company argues for fair treatment in comparison to medical marijuana-derived THC edibles, showcasing its commitment to overcoming regulatory obstacles and advocating for equitable industry standards.
As cannabis laws continue to evolve, local dispensaries in New York are adapting to provide diverse and high-quality products. Whether you prefer the community-focused approach of Citiva, the industry leadership of Columbia Care, the innovative offerings of Etain, or the physician-led excellence of Vireo Health, these dispensaries offer unique experiences while contributing to the growth of the legal and regulated cannabis industry in the state. Exploring these establishments not only provides access to a variety of cannabis products but also supports the local economy and the development of a safe and thriving industry.
Citiva and Etain prioritize medical roles for patients with debilitating illnesses but also serve adult-use recreational customers. Columbia Care and Vireo Health operate medical and retail locations, offering a diverse product range for different customer needs.
Etain, among others, runs an online store, providing a convenient option for distant customers. Online purchasing availability varies; check the dispensary’s website for details.
Local dispensaries play a vital role in contributing to the local economy by creating jobs, supporting local suppliers, and generating tax revenue. As legal and regulated businesses, they contribute to economic growth while providing safe access to cannabis products for the community.
Each dispensary has its unique offerings and approach. Citiva focuses on community engagement, Columbia Care prioritizes industry leadership and customer comfort, Etain emphasizes a vertically integrated model and innovation, while Vireo Health combines physician-led excellence with a commitment to science. Exploring these differences allows customers to choose an experience that aligns with their preferences and needs.