Creator: Gary Gershoff | Credit: Getty Images for Housing Works Copyright: 2021 Getty Images
Explore the impact of New York’s inaugural cannabis dispensary.
Housing Works Cannabis Co. (HWCC) – New York City’s first-ever legal cannabis dispensary – has had a solid year.
Since opening its doors on December 29, 2022, at 750 Broadway, right in the pulsating heart of Manhattan, HWCC has soared beyond expectations, racking up an impressive $24 million in sales in its first year.
This figure is a striking contrast to the average $8.1 million annual revenue of New York dispensaries, marking HWCC as a commercial triumph and a beacon of community-driven success.
Nevertheless, the efforts at HWCC go beyond the cannabis sector.
Housing Works Cannabis Co. (HWCC) ties its operations and ethos to its parent organization, Housing Works.
Established in 1990, Housing Works emerged from a group of activists striving for housing stability for people with AIDS. Over the past three decades, the organization has expanded its reach, now assisting thousands annually in New York with housing, healthcare, and job training, mainly focusing on individuals affected by AIDS, homelessness, and substance abuse.
The proceeds from HWCC are channeled back into Housing Works, supporting its ongoing advocacy and service provision efforts. This financial support aids Housing Works in continuing its work across various communities, especially those impacted by the war on drugs.
HWCC focuses on inclusivity in their product selection, featuring items from LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and women-led brands. This approach recognizes and supports communities that have historically faced disproportionate challenges due to drug criminalization policies.
Through this relationship with Housing Works, HWCC plays a dual role: contributing to the growth of the cannabis industry and supporting community-focused initiatives.
HWCC’s product lineup reveals over 1,000 items from more than 124 brands, with a notable lean towards sativa-dominant products like flowers, vapes, and edibles. HWCC’s shelves are a celebration of diversity, emphasizing minority-led brands.
In June 2022, HWCC proudly introduced Brelixi, a pioneering brand that is Black-, queer-, and woman-owned, into its collection. This addition is a testament to HWCC’s mission to elevate brands that embody its core values of inclusivity and social consciousness.
Alongside Brelixi, brands like the woman-led Fat Nell, BIPOC-owned The Weekenders, and queer-owned Drew
Martin and Flamer each have their unique stories of empowerment and resonate with HWCC’s commitment to community engagement.
The HWCC Retail Manager encapsulates the essence of their mission, saying, “I think what differentiates us is our roots in New York City – whether through our MJMondaze event series or the brands we carefully select for our menu – people know what we’re about, and our work across the community.”
As HWCC marks its first anniversary, it stands as much more than a prosperous dispensary. It’s a dynamic force in New York City’s cannabis landscape, embodying success in sales and a profound narrative of community, change, and progressive ideals. HWCC is continually reshaping the concept of a dispensary, one sale, and one story at a time.