Exploring Cannabis Culture: New York

“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.”– Tom Wolfe 

New York, New York It’s a wonderful town and on the 31st of March, 2021 it became even more wonderful as New York State became the 15th state to legalize recreational cannabis. A progressive move from the cultural capital of the US, the windy city and one that we think deserves applause and air time. So, in this, the latest article in our series on cannabis culture around the world, we’ll be walking the streets of New York City. But, what is Cannabis culture? Well here at CBD testers, we believe that it’s ‘the way that cannabis can be perceived and treated within a society, city or country.’  Now, when we say Cannabis, we also mean the products of cannabis including the incredible oils CBD and THC, as well as any other way cannabis and its products influence a culture.- So, hail that yellow cab, grab a slice of pizza, but watch where you’re going because  ‘we’re walkin here!’ as we investigate the Cannabis culture in the big apple, the windy city, New York City baby!

Cannabis is gaining popularity across the globe. To learn more about changing regulations and emerging trends, make sure to subscribe to The Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter, your hub for all things cannabis-related, including more articles like this one and exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other legal products. And save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10THCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!

New York City  

New York City is the largest city in the state of New York (Although interestingly not the capital, that’s Albany) it can be found in a natural Harbour around the Hudson bay on the North Atlantic coast of America. New York is one of the most famous cities in the world and is often described as the cultural, financial and media capital of the world. It’s split up into five boroughs, each with its own unique identity: The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn. New York City is also the most populated and most densely populated city in the whole of the United States and is an icon of the western world. The city has played host to some of the most iconic films and has even been referenced in a host of songs and musicals, maybe most famously by Frank Sinatra in the eponymous New York: 

‘Start spreading the news
I’m leaving today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York’

With so much happening in this incredible city it’s not surprising that Cannabis culture is so rich. The city has a beautiful history with Cannabis, made popular by the Jazz and Beat scenes in Harlem and Greenwich Village. Writers such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg used to smoke Cannabis with many Jazz artists, writing about it in novels and poems and spreading the word about the joys of Cannabis. In the 70’s and 80’s New York became one of the most important cities in the movement towards legalization of Cannabis and indeed the push for medical Cannabis with movements like Green Aid, supporting Cannabis use for Aids sufferers. With this clear historical link, one can only imagine how the legalization of Cannabis will have impacted the culture around the drug.

Before we delve into the Cannabis culture of modern day new york, let’s discuss some of the top sights to see in the windy city: 

Statue of Liberty

An Icon of American Culture, the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France in 1886 and stands proudly on Ellis Island, welcoming in newcomers to the city. You can book tours of Ellis Island and can even climb to the top of her crown for a bird’s eye view of New York bay.

Times Square 

The iconic Times square is a must seen in the city that never sleeps. Famous for its neon-lights and broadway billboards, you can take in a show or even pop into the brilliant Museum of Modern Arts. Although if you don’t fancy crowds, then Times Square might not be for you as it is one of the busiest tourist destinations in the world.

Central Park

When in New York you have to visit the 38 Acre park right in the middle of Manhattan Island. With the legalisation of smoking Cannabis outside, you can even enjoy a relaxing smoke in this beautiful patch of greenery.

Cannabis in New York

Is It Legal?

Yes! Since March 31st 2021, it is legal to possess and use Cannabis for recreation purposes as well as medical purposes. So, what exactly can we do in the Big Apple now that Cannabis is legalized? According to a comprehensive review by JD Supra, adults over 21 can now legally possess up to 3 ounces of Cannabis and up to 24 grams of Cannabis oils, for edibles and vaporisers. Cannabis will eventually be allowed to be purchased from state licensed dispensaries, located across the city, though for now this isn’t possible as the state is still finalizing how the licensing process will work and how to tax Cannabis sales to benefit as many people as possible.. Cannabis being able to be smoked outside is quite different to some Eastern States, including Colorado  where smoking is only allowed inside and in private and public consumption is banned.  

Is It Illegal?

Even though there are so many ways to enjoy Cannabis legally in New York, there are some restrictions still in place, so what can’t you do? Possession of more than 3 ounces of Cannabis can still lead to punishment. 3-8 ounces could result in a misdemeanour and a fine, whilst possession of anything over 8 ounces can be classed as a felony. As expected, it is illegal to operate any vehicles in the city whilst under the influence of Cannabis, so make sure you have a taxi booked if you’re thinking of consuming any Cannabis on your trip. It is also illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to possess or use Cannabis or some Cannabis oils.

You can’t smoke Cannabis in any locations where smoking tobacco is prohibited and of course you can’t cross any state lines whilst carrying Cannabis or Cannabis products illegal in neighboring states. As the law is very new, there are still certain issues being discussed. The legal purchasing of Cannabis being one of them. It is still illegal to purchase Cannabis and some officials say that it could be a while before state registered, licensed vendors will be around to sell Cannabis. For Medical Marijuana, if you are granted a prescription by your doctor, you can legally pick up Cannabis from a dispensary.

You can have a look at the full laws around cannabis in the bill itself here.

The City’s General Attitude to Cannabis 

New York has always had a relaxed stance on the smoking of Cannabis and has had a long history with Cannabis, linking back to the Beats and the Hippie movements, so the general attitude, even before the legalization of Cannabis was quite relaxed. A large-scale report by NYC health found that in 2016 34% of NYC adults ages 18-25 reported Cannabis use within the past year and 27% of 26-34 year olds as well and all of this before legalization was even properly discussed. The city welcomes open mindedness and is famous for its inclusivity. Let’s have a look at some of the Cannabis center events that take place in NYC.

NYC Cannabis Parade 

One of the longest running parades celebrating the wonder of Cannabis, New York’s Cannabis parade is a staple of the cities open mindedness. The parade was started in the 60’s after a series of cultural events lead to regular ‘smoke ins’: Allen Ginsberg founded LeMAr (Legalize Marijuana), hippie culture was blooming in the East Village and people started to protest against the criminalization of Cannabis. From then on, people have regularly met and marched through the center of New York City. As they say on their website, the history of this parade shows that the new legalization of Cannabis ‘did not come as a gift from the top down – it came up from the people through struggle.’ 

Cannabis Speakeasy events

There are lots of Speakeasy dinners and nights in and around NYC. Spleef is an events company that hosts spoken word events and stand up nights that are centred around promoting artists as well as enjoying infused edibles. 20 past 4 is an infused dining experience where diners are served infused meals that match the strain of Cannabis they are given to smoke before that course. There are many events like this around the city and these Cannabis infused dinner parties will continue to grow as clarity around the rules of selling Cannabis grows too.

New York Cannabis Film Festival 

Another important event in the Cannabis Culture Calendar of New York is the Cannabis Film Festival. A festival of feature films and shorts that celebrate Cannabis Culture and promote Cannabis friendly creatives all with the aim of breaking down the stigmas around the drug.

For a list of Cannabis based events and workshops, including the business of Cannabis in NYC, have a look at this link.


New York is one of the most lively, bustling and iconic cities in the world. You can be anyone you want and dream any dream. With the change in laws of legalisation it’s now possible to use Cannabis with freedom and ease and soon it will even be possible to legally purchase Cannabis from dispensaries and even visit Cannabis cafes. Cannabis culture was always present in New York, but the future is bright and the Big Apple keeps on getting shinier.

Welcome to CBDtesters.co, the internet’s #1 cannabis and psychedelics-related news publication, offering up the most thought-provoking and relevant stories of today. Stop by frequently to stay in-the-loop on the quickly-changing universe of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and sign up for The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter, so you’re sure to get every news story first.

The post Exploring Cannabis Culture: New York appeared first on CBD Testers.

New York Regulators Approve Home Cultivation of Medical Marijuana

Regulators with New York’s Cannabis Control Board issued proposed regulations to govern the home cultivation of medical marijuana last week, following through on a provision of the state’s comprehensive cannabis reform legislation passed earlier this year. The new rules approved on October 21, which are now subject to a 60-day public comment period, would allow registered marijuana patients and caregivers to grow up to six cannabis plants at home.

“With today’s vote, we are advancing these measures for the home cultivation of medical cannabis for the public’s input as we continue to expand the program and give more New Yorkers access to this medicine and the relief it provides,” Cannabis Control Board chair Tremaine Wright said in a statement from the agency.

New Regulatory Board In Action

Approving home cultivation of medical marijuana is the first major step by the Cannabis Control Board to implement the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which was passed by New York lawmakers and signed into law by former Governor Andrew Cuomo in March. The legislation included provisions for the home growing of cannabis by medical marijuana patients, but only after rules were drafted by the board.

Cuomo, however, failed to appoint members to the newly created Cannabis Control Board as mandated by the legislation over reported disagreements with New York state lawmakers over leadership of the panel. Following Cuomo’s resignation in August, incoming Gov. Kathy Hochul announced her nominations to the board in September, naming former Brooklyn Assemblywoman Wright as board chair and former Drug Policy Alliance staff member Chris Alexander as executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management. The nominations were confirmed by lawmakers on September 1, but the delay led the board to miss a deadline to issue home cultivation rules within four months of pass of the MRTA.

“Thanks to the quick action by Governor Hochul and the Legislature in appointing the Board and agency leadership, we are moving full-steam ahead and look forward to continuing to expand the medical program and building a new industry that will operate safely and deliver opportunity to the communities most harmed by the war on drugs,” Wright added.

New Rules Allow Up to Six Medical Marijuana Plants

Under the newly proposed medical marijuana home cultivation regulations, registered patients and caregivers working on a patient’s behalf would be permitted to grow up to three immature and three mature cannabis plants at home. The rules set a cap of up to six mature and six immature plants within or on the grounds of any private residence. Patients are limited to one caregiver growing for their needs. Caregivers with more than one patient are allowed to grow one additional plant for every patient they have above the first six.

The proposed regulations also contain several provisions designed to protect the health and safety of patients and communities. Plants and cannabis products must be kept in a secure location that incorporates reasonable measures including locks and security devices to ensure that cannabis is not accessible to persons less than 21 years old. Plants must be cultivated out of public view and growers must take reasonable steps to mitigate undesirable odors.

Additionally, processing cannabis at home with any liquid or gas, other than alcohol, that has a flashpoint below 100 degrees Fahrenheit is not permitted. The regulations also stipulate that all forms of cannabis including seeds, immature and mature plants, and marijuana flower can not be sold or bartered to another person by anyone except a licensed entity.

“Home cultivation will give medical patients and their caregivers another way to access needed medication,” said Assembly Health Committee chair and original medical marijuana bill sponsor Richard Gottfried. “This follows the important recent addition of whole flower to the medical program, expansion of eligible practitioners, and removal of patient registration fees. I commend Governor Hochul and the Cannabis Control Board for another step towards a progressive, accessible medical cannabis program.”

Board Also Receives Update On Expungement

At the October 21 meeting of the Cannabis Control Board, Alexander updated on the status of the efforts to expunge the records of past marijuana offenses, a justice reform provision of the MRTA adopted to help address the disparate enforcement of cannabis prohibition laws. So far, approximately 198,000 records were expunged in a first round of record-clearing and another 203,000 cannabis-related charges are being suppressed from criminal background checks while in the expungement process.

“The MRTA reformed New York’s criminal justice system and strives to end decades of disproportionate enforcement of New York’s marijuana laws,” Alexander said. “A key component of these reforms is the expungement of past criminal convictions for individuals with previous convictions for activities that are no longer criminalized. When completed the actions of the 2019 and 2021 laws will have expunged the records of over 400,000 New Yorkers – a staggering reminder the impact that cannabis prohibition had on so many lives.”

The post New York Regulators Approve Home Cultivation of Medical Marijuana appeared first on Cannabis Now.

What’s Happening in New York Now That Cannabis is Legal?

“Free samples! Edibles! Check it out,” the young entrepreneur who goes by the moniker “AI” yells in between tokes on a joint slathered with budder. Then, she adds, “I’m high as f*ck!”

This is a Friday night in Washington Square Park, a key youth gathering point in New York City’s Greenwich Village, and business is brisk.

‘Open Market’ in Washington Square

AI says her initials stand for An Inspiration, and her business, registered in New York state last year, is Canaremedy — offering its own line of infused edibles, topicals and oils. At the table she has set up, she is also offering little baggies of bud, and pre-rolled joints.

Those inquiring about free samples are encouraged to help themselves to a little paper cup of AI’s “weed juice” — AI’s own concoction featuring a THC tincture. For the other products, money is exchanged, but technically, AI says she is accepting donations for free samples, rather than making sales.  

It may seem a semantic distinction, but the since the passage of New York’s Marijuana Taxation & Regulation ACT (MRTA) in March, there is an “open market” in the state. Even if authorities officially do not view it that way, it is clear that the police are taking a hands-off approach. Several other tables peddling similar wares are set up nearby. The cops clustered around the square’s iconic arch, some 50 yards away, do not interfere. And this scene has been unfolding every night all summer long, and now into early fall.

Canaremedy founder “AI” holds up one of her products in Washington Square Park. PHOTO Bill Weinberg

AI’s goal is to eventually get a storefront, and a share of the licensed market. She registered the Canaremedy brand in 2020, in anticipation of legalization. Born in Newark and once homeless on the streets of New York, she’s now an East Village resident. 

She explains that she got into developing her own cannabis products because her sister is suffering from multiple sclerosis, and her ailing mother suffered from a skin condition. “I felt the need to help my family — both with financial support and medicine.” Her first creation was a CBD “body butter” that aided her mother’s condition.  

“My mission is to create a business to help people and the community — mind, body and soul.” And also, she adds, to finance her ambitions as a writer, rapper, artist and musician. She is currently working on a semi-autobiographical book, Love A Lesbian.

Local Neighborhood Business

“Trademark Rob” has over the past several weeks maintained a similar table, this one on the sidewalk of Clinton Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. “I was born and raised on Clinton Street,” he says proudly as he breaks up bud to roll a joint on the curbside. “Clinton is on my birth certificate.”  

The baseball cap he wears backwards, New York style, shows the official logo of the city, in the official font — “NYC.” But it is adorned with a cannabis leaf image and the letters below read “New York Cannabis.”

Trademark launched his tongue-in-cheek brand a year ago as an apparel line, with the anticipation of cannabis going legal in New York state. After months of selling hoodies, caps and t-shirts emblazoned with the New York Cannabis logo from a storefront at 40 Clinton, on April 1 (the day after MRTA was signed) he started offering cannabis officially, as a promotional give away with an apparel sale. He set up the sidewalk stand in September, when the storefront was temporarily closed for renovations.

At the stand, Trademark and his crew offer a sealed baggie of bud (3.5 grams) with a purchase of $100 worth of merchandise. “We call that an eighth on the street,” Trademark says wryly.

“Trademark Rob” takes a puff in front of his Clinton Street sidewalk storefront. PHOTO Bill Weinberg

Waiting to get back into the storefront after the landlord completes renovation, Trademark says being on street has increased awareness and visibility. “People were thinking we were just an apparel store.”

There has been no problem with law enforcement whatsoever, according to Trademark. He’s openly sold bud and edibles from his table. “The cops are more concerned with vehicles parked in the bike lane,” he quips.  

“It all unfolded organically for me,” Trademark says. “We’ll apply for a retail license when it’s available. We want to offer educational courses for those new to the cannabis biz, and a members-only consumption lounge. Maybe a smoke and paint, instead of a sip-and-paint.” 

A list of available varieties displayed at the table names San Fernando Valley OG, Glookies (Gorilla Glue X Girl Scout Cookies), Cake Batter, Kasmeir, East Coast Sour Diesel and Fruity Pebbles.  

Trademark says all the product is New York state indoor, and much of it grown within the city. He says whole buildings in the city are now dedicated to cannabis cultivation, exploiting the six plants per adult resident allowed under MRTA. Although technically, this provision does not take effect for several months.

Delayed Licensing Process

This same strategy of conforming to the letter of the law by the narrowest of margins is also being pursued by the city’s CBD stores, which are openly selling very potent Delta-8 products. Since passage of the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, hemp-derived Delta-8 THC has been in a legal grayzone, as the law only refers to Delta-9 THC as a prohibited cannabinoid.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, for two years now, has instructed the NYPD to not make arrests for small cannabis offenses, and New York City’s district attorneys are no longer prosecuting such cases. However, this applies to use and possession rather than sale. And while arrests dropped dramatically under this policy, as recently as mere weeks before the passage of MRTA, there were still instances of brutal arrests for cannabis offenses. 

Under MRTA, public use and possession by those over 21 are now legal, within the permitted limits: three ounces of bud or 24 grams of concentrate. But unlicensed cannabis sale is another matter and it not clear if the law treats the exchange of unlicensed cannabis from one hand to another any differently if no money is exchanged. The current laissez-faire atmosphere in the Big Apple appears to be a matter of policy rather than law.

Six months after the passage of MRTA, state authorities are only now starting the process of crafting the licensing and regulation structure for commercial cultivation, processing and sale. The first meeting of the new Cannabis Control Board was finally held on Oct. 5, in a virtual format, NewYorkUpstate reports. Political chaos in New York state (then-governor Andrew Cuomo stepped down under cloud of scandal five months after signing MRTA) contributed to delays in appointment of the five-member board. 

“The MRTA was signed into law on March 31. But we were not able to begin the work of establishing New York’s cannabis market until Sept. 22, when the full cannabis control board was appointed. As such, there was a six-month delay to make up,” Christopher Alexander, executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management, told the board as the meeting opened, according to LoHud.  

And the only immediate changes to come out of this first meeting concerned the state’s very limited medical marijuana program. Board members agreed to permanently waive the $50 registration fee for patients and caregivers and to make actual herbaceous cannabis an approved form of medical marijuana product.

Empire State Canna-Boom?

A coming cannabis boom was hyped by Gov. Kathy Hochul at the Business Council of New York State’s annual meeting on Sept. 24. “We do want to go big or go home, and I want to help you get there,” she said. “I need you to survive because you’re the identity of New York that people create jobs and opportunities. You are who we are as New Yorkers. Your success means the success of this entire state,” Hochul affirmed.

“So count me in as an ally — someone who’s going to be there for you, who will fight for you to make sure that we do not lose out to any competition, whether it’s in the space of cannabis, where I believe there’s thousands and thousands of jobs and new industries, to be created.”

The Business Council meeting, held “in real life” at Rockefeller Center’s posh Rainbow Room, brought out several bigwigs of finance, industry and celebrity, including Bronx native and retired NFL player Ruben Lindo, who is now CEO of Phoenix Nutraceutical and founder of Buffalo-based Blak Mar Farms. Lindo applauded the state’s commitment to award cannabis business licenses to neighborhoods impacted by cannabis prohibition under MRTA’s social equity provisions. But he urged that those who have already been in the industry deserve more than a carved-out allocation of permits, according to MarketWatch.

“It’s about giving the rightful ownership of an industry to people who bore the brunt of incarceration,” Lindo said. “We operated in the space at risk of life and liberty.”

Many of these legacy operators are already taking advantage of the post-MRTA euphoria and bureaucratic limbo to boogie in public. It remains to be seen whether this thriving informal sector will survive once the big boys start getting state licenses.

The post What’s Happening in New York Now That Cannabis is Legal? appeared first on Cannabis Now.

It’s official—recreational cannabis is now legal in New York State

On Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill to legalize recreational cannabis in New York State. Effective immediately, smoking recreational cannabis is now to be lawfully treated with the same approach as cigarettes. Law enforcement has been given new orders on how to respond to cannabis use and for the cannabis community. It’s a breath […]

The post It’s official—recreational cannabis is now legal in New York State appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.

Family of Teen Murder Victim Blasts NYPD Rep for Linking The Crime to Marijuana

Family members of a woman who was stabbed in Manhattan’s Morningside Park were offended by a police union official’s comments on Sunday that Tessa Majors’ death had to do with cannabis. Many see the remarks as thinly veiled digs at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s policing priorities. 

“She was in the park to buy marijuana,” said the president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association Ed Mullins on a morning talk radio show. “And you think about that, we don’t enforce marijuana laws anymore. We’re basically hands-off on the enforcement of marijuana.” 

The comments were seen as criticism of Mayor de Blasio’s relaxation of marijuana policing norms. Apparently, the police rep thinks that the 18-year-old would still be alive today if marijuana deals were being more stringently policed. His remarks join a chorus that has arisen since the murder that it is a result of the NYC mayor’s de-escalation of cannabis-related policing tactics. 

In May, de Blasio announced an “overhaul and reform” of police policy that guided law enforcement to no longer arrest people caught smoking cannabis. 

New York state narrowly missed legalizing adult use marijuana this year after lawmakers were unable to agree on the details of regulation legislation. Nonetheless, cannabis was decriminalized in the state, with penalties for small time possession reduced to those of a parking violation.

Majors’ boyfriend told the police that the Barnard College student had been running in the park at 5:30 p.m. when she attacked. Her family did not take kindly to the assertion that she had been in the process of buying cannabis when she lost her life. 

In a statement, the family called Mullins’ words “deeply inappropriate, as they intentionally or unintentionally direct blame onto Tess, a young woman, for her own murder.”

“’We would ask Mr Mullins not to engage in such irresponsible public speculation, just as the NYPD asked our family not to comment as it conducts the investigation,” the statement continued. “Our family is interested in knowing what exactly happened to Tess and who committed her murder.”

Mayor de Blasio also weighed in on the remarks, calling them “victim shaming.” 

“This is heartless,” he wrote in a Twitter post. “It’s infuriating. We don’t shame victims in this city.”

Days after his talk radio pronouncement, Mullins walked back his statements somewhat. “This student Tess Majors is clearly a victim of a robbery homicide,” he said. “She went to a prestigious school. Her family is suffering. But in many ways, I blame the mayor for trying to slant this in a different direction.” 

Tessa Majors

Majors was killed last Wednesday. The suspects in the case are a trio of young boys aged 13 to 14 years old. One has allegedly confessed to the attack, though he placed the blame for the actual stabbing on the other individuals. 

According to the alleged confession, the three went to the park with the intent to rob people. They grabbed Majors, told her to give them her money, and the woman put up a fight. The boy who told the police his story said the other two stabbed her. 

A memorial service for Majors was held this week in Morningside Park close to where she was attacked that was attended by over 1,000 mourners. There, city councilperson Mark Levine commented on the tragedy of a crime allegedly committed by middle school students. 

“It only made this even more heartbreaking,” said the politician. “The truth is that families were destroyed on both sides.”

The post Family of Teen Murder Victim Blasts NYPD Rep for Linking The Crime to Marijuana appeared first on High Times.

Inside The Baked Bazaar – A Modern Day Mom-and-Pop-Up Shop

The Brooklyn couple might not, upon first glance, strike a visitor to the pop-up event they executed in SoHo in November as a pair who specialize in shipping artisanal CBD products to homes across America. Karina and Feliks Gurevich launched BakedBazaar.com in August of 2019, an online portal for an eclectic array of intriguing CBD edibles, such as CBD laced cupcakes in jars and CBD-infused macaroni and cheese, along with many other CBD-kissed food-related items. Think an Etsy for people who make and want to buy CBD-infused edibles and products. 

The Gurevichs’ began the online business after they realized they shared a lack of appreciation for hemp’s natural flavor. “We wanted to use CBD, but we didn’t like the taste,” Feliks told me. “We tried a couple of tinctures, but if you don’t like the way it tastes, it’s hard to hold it in your mouth for a full minute.” He and his wife found that certain edibles made CBD pleasing enough to help them get the amount down that they wanted to ingest. “We can have a brownie or a water or some gummies and get the dosage that we need. It’s inconspicuous, no one even knows I’m taking CBD.”

Feliks brings with him experience from working as a technical architect at Goldbelly (a website that is similar to his own, but where people can purchase non-CBD food items), so working in the food industry was a familiar place. 

“When we launched, we were kind of unsure about how we would be able to drive traffic to our website because of all the competition,” he explained. “We would email big companies to get their products on our website and many of them didn’t respond.” 

Jessica Delfino

Over the weeks that followed, the couple realized that premium artisanal products handmade by craftsmen and women were the ones that worked best on the site. “They care about their product,” Feliks explained. “They want it out there.” The businesses the site partners with, Feliks explained, are excited to share their presence on BakedBazaar.com with their own followers, which helps drive traffic to the site. It’s pleasantly symbiotic. 

Today, the website features 30 items, and though the site is based in Brooklyn, goods are being mailed off to customers in California, Florida, and everywhere in between. “Because the products contain CBD, they can be shipped legally across the country,” Karina told me. 

The duo is selective in bringing on new products. “We try everything that is sent to us and decide based on many factors if it will be included on the site,” Feliks said. Some of those deciding points, Feliks explained, are marketability, how well the products work with the others on the site and how the products make them feel, both physically and emotionally. “We exclude some companies because we aren’t comfortable selling products that we aren’t 100% sure it works,” he added.

The Baked Bazaar

Their pop-up event was outfitted with Instagrammable backdrops, such as a pink telephone booth full of CBD’d kombucha in pretty bottles, neon signage, multi-tiered colorful CBD snack samples (such as Paryani’s Pumpkin bonbons, an exclusive partnership for the site), and large balloon displays. One couldn’t help but notice all the many, many things out there that people are putting CBD into. 

Inside The Baked Bazaar - A Modern Day Mom-and-Pop-Up Shop
Jessica Delfino

“I bought a bag of the (chocolate) almonds,” a young man named Steve told me. 

At a table in the back, Alex and Zach, two friends who’d wandered in to see what the pop-up event was all about, sat sipping a couple of CBD-infused coffees. “It’s actually pretty good,” Zach shared. “It’s smooth, too.” Though they’d both tried gummies before, this was their first cup of hot, caffeinated CBD.

Another local visitor and New York City resident named Ron said it was his first time ever seeing CBD products. “I’m just kind of curious about the ingredients they are using,” he said. “It’s something that is new and different.”

In addition to the aforementioned cupcakes-in-jars (which I’ve tried and are truly delicious), and the macaroni and cheese, the shop also featured coffees, teas, magic bars, cookies, tinctures, pet chews, olive oil, and some lotions and topical products as well. Larger name CBD brands were also represented—Wana gummies (the only gummy on the couple’s website), a pectin vs. gelatin based product, offered samples of their vegan-approved blood orange, mango, and yuzu flavored chews, and CocoCanna’s delicious smelling lotion was available for roving onlookers to take a whiff of. “The lotion smells incredible,” Feliks said. “You can’t smell it online. You have to go by a picture of the packaging,” he elaborated. 

This was the main impetus behind their weekend long pop-up. “We’ve had hundreds of people who’ve come in and tried our products,” Karina said. “Bailey’s pet products, we completely sold out of,” the couple shared. 

Inside The Baked Bazaar - A Modern Day Mom-and-Pop-Up Shop
Jessica Delfino

The event featured CBD massages, free samples of almost all their products, and, to top it all off, one lucky person who entered a drawing to win a box full of $500 dollars worth of the site’s products was selected via Instagram Live at the end of the weekend. It was an especially nice treat, because CBD products aren’t cheap. For example, cupcakes in jars run about $21 per item. “Edibles are a luxury,” Feliks explained, “and we work with artisans who make premium, handcrafted products, so the prices reflect that.” However, he says lowering the price point is something he is continually working with brands on.

After being open for the weekend of November 8 through 11, the event drew to a close on Sunday evening. Feliks and Karina seemed pleased with the outcome of their efforts. 

“Everyone who tried our product said, ‘Wow, that’s so good’,” Feliks shared. “The pop-up shop gives us a chance to interact with people. That’s what we wanted to accomplish.”

The post Inside The Baked Bazaar – A Modern Day Mom-and-Pop-Up Shop appeared first on High Times.

Beyond the Streets: Cannabis Isn’t the Only Counter Culture en Vogue

One of the first things that drew me into ‘counter culture’ at a young age was the sense of rebellion it evoked. Part of the ‘cool factor’ of smoking weed was that I wasn’t allowed to do it, and that I’d get in trouble if I got caught… it made me feel like an outlaw. I didn’t realize until years later that part of the reason I was writing my name on everything was because it was evoking similar feelings. I wasn’t conscious of it at the time, but the same feeling of rebellion that lead me to graffiti years earlier was the catalyst for arguably the longest lasting relationship of my life— my relationship with Mary Jane. 

We often don’t think of these two cultures as being particularly intertwined past the questionable legality—likely because graffiti typically involves a lot of running, and weed makes you, well, slow down. But still, the similarities are plentiful. I won’t dig into the minutia, but here’s the 101: both practices began as less-than-legal forms of expression, developed cult-like followings, exploded into major industries, and eventually moved into the cultural zeitgeist. Now, at a time where CBD is available at gas stations around the country, Street Art is maturing at a similar pace—moving from slaps and tags into coveted (and impossible to obtain) art pieces commanding top dollar. 

Last summer I bought three tickets to a show in Los Angeles that I saw on one of my favorite designers Instagrams. It was called Beyond the Streets. None of my friends had heard of it, but it looked interesting, so I managed to entice two of them to go through promises of a hazy trip over, and by buying their tickets. What we experienced was unlike any of the countless other shows I’ve seen since I moved to California – it was raw, it was creative, and it was FUN. From the split cop car, to the original Keith Haring, to the six-foot LA Hands, this show had something for everyone. Needless to say, when I found out they were opening a new show in New York, I had to check it out.

The show, which runs until the end of August, takes place across two floors of a glass-encased building on the edge of Williamsburg. Nestled along the Hudson river in arguably the most gentrified part of Brooklyn, the show juxtaposes the outlaw mentality that fueled street artists for generations against the vogue-like regard their content is held in today. Not only does it beautifully marry two seemingly unrelated frames of being, but the show really embraces it’s New York setting, recruiting the likes of east coast legends like Taki 183, CORNBREAD and SAMO to not only feature work in the exhibit, but to include Easter egg tags around the venue as well. (Try to find all of SAMO’s—they’re worth it, I promise.)

It’s worth mentioning that the show is MASSIVE. Accounting for roughly one full city block, BTS: NYC is packed with loads of new additions for this exhibition, as well as several fan favorites from LA revamped for round two. New elements include a Beastie Boys retrospective, complete with their original beat machines, logo designs, lyric sheets, and even a hilarious note from one of the hotels they stayed in asking them to stop throwing things from their window, a 30-year anniversary gallery celebrating some of Shepard Fairey’s biggest accomplishments, a slew of the ever-popular totems from Faile, and a beautiful collaborative piece tag-teamed by Takashi Murakami, MADSAKI and TENGAone. My personal favorites include the expanded and redesigned Barminski room, the Parla slabs, Risk’s shark, and the rusty can cart, but there wasn’t a single piece in the show that didn’t deserve it’s own spotlight.

After getting to roam the show for a few hours I caught up with Roger Gastman, graffiti historian and lead curator for Beyond the Streets, to chat about how far the culture has come.

High Times: What made you create Beyond the Streets? The irony of taking what used to be illegal and displaying it in beautiful galleries is not lost on me.

Roger Gastman: This show is all about the evolution of the art form of graffiti and street art. We brought together artists who helped shape and expand the landscape: graffiti and street artists operating at the highest levels with dynamic studio practices, as well as major artists inspired by graffiti and street art. Our aim is to celebrate the heights to which the world’s most recognizable modern art movement has risen.

HT: We’ve noticed that cannabis is undergoing a sort of identity crisis as it shifts from the outlaw / rebel culture into something more commonly accepted. Do you see that happening in street art? 

RG: The mural culture has exploded. And while it is awesome to see the display of public art it is often branded as street art. Legal murals done by artists are not street art just because they are outside. There needs to be more education on the movement, its history and its terms. But overall there will always be the next wave of kids who want to go out and write on things and don’t care about the rules.

HT: Do you see these cultures as being intertwined?

RG: Both have an outlaw, just-do-it nature to them that I don’t think will ever go away, no matter how mainstream they become.

HT: How do you feel about the corporatization of street art? Do you think it’s important that this stuff remains underground?

RG: While it has risen to incredible heights, it amazes me how much more can be done to educate audiences on the people and moments that make up this culture. This show is an attempt to highlight this impact, of mark making and rule breaking, and its impact on and intersections with pop culture. Vandalism as contemporary art—in our own way, without the confines or politics of an institution.

We hope this show continues to legitimize this art form, and shines a light on the people who have dedicated and risked their lives for their passion.

HT: What’s the most exciting / innovative thing you’ve seen come from the culture lately? Anything you never would’ve thought possible years ago?

RG: The world of graffiti and street art is MASSIVE. They are entire cultures with many subcultures that have spun off of them. I can’t keep up with how much keeps coming up. I find the most joy in continuing to dig up the history, something that as these cultures continue to explode will become more important.

HT: Is that the same thing that excited you about street art in the beginning?

RG: I’ve spent my life surrounded by graffiti and street art. You could say that I’m obsessed with understanding the culture, its origins, its evolutions, and the way it’s infiltrated culture at large… It’s incredible to me how far this culture has come, how large its impact is, and how diverse the creativity is.

The post Beyond the Streets: Cannabis Isn’t the Only Counter Culture en Vogue appeared first on High Times.