A new store opening in Manhattan is looking to make your cannabis experience a more elevated one.
Gotham is a new cannabis store that boasts a comfortable, upscale environment for customers to peruse the finest cannabis products. Located near the corner of 3rd Street and Bowery in the East Village, the store is the brainchild of Founder Joanne Wilson and Chief Creative Officer Billy Richards, and will officially open to the public on May 11.
“We wanted to create a space that was a first of its kind, uniquely downtown and differentiated from the local head shop. Gotham is a true concept store where visitors can discover something new, browse high end brands and enjoy incredible art through a distinctive NYC lens. And, of course, we also sell cannabis,” said Richards, a hospitality veteran and former director of NYC’s famed Boom Boom Room and Rose Bar.
“What I really wanted to do, and everyone on the team is completely signed off on, is to change the narrative around cannabis. There’s been this false narrative that has been in this country since 1936 when they decided to make weed illegal when it had been legal all up until that point,” said Wilson. “No one is doing the research, no one understands. All of a sudden it exploded. You look at a store like this, there’s a reason why in every single state, the minute [a store] opens is doing $30-, $40-, $50 million of revenue because everyone’s getting stoned and not only just for enjoyment but for medical purposes. So why can’t we have stores in this country that not only speak to cannabis but speak to the lifestyle that you have with cannabis?”
Gotham aims to work with the best-in-class brands, offering an array of cannabis products, including flower, edibles, vaporizers, pre-rolls, and tinctures from brands such as Edie Parker, Flowerhouse, House of Puff, and Rose New York X David Zilber of Noma. Gotham will also debut its own line of CBD products and accessories, Gotham Goods.
There are ten booths in the store where customers will get one-on-one attention when purchasing their cannabis products. Product experts are also on-hand to help customers choose goods tailored to their needs and interests. There will also be lifestyle products and clothing available to shop around at the front of the store.
On the top floor of the space, the store features an art gallery with rotating exhibits featuring New York artists. The first show, presented in partnership with Bright Moments, will be an NFT gallery as well as a permanent installation by NYC-based multimedia artist Molly Lowe.
“You can come through here and you can enjoy the products. You can go upstairs and see some kind of installation or activation we’re doing that week,” said Wilson. “It’s really a place where you kind of want to hang out, meet people and enjoy what we have, including the constant changing of products.”
In addition to its retail offerings, Gotham is committed to creating systemic change through the power of jobs, education and opportunity for those that were formerly incarcerated for cannabis. A portion of proceeds from the store will go to support STRIVE, a nonprofit that provides a pathway to life-changing careers for those who face societal barriers to economic empowerment and upward mobility, including those impacted by the justice system.
“We have been working with Joanne for years before this, and this was just a great meeting of timing and opportunity,” said Ayesha George, Executive Director STRIVE New York. “When we look at what we’re doing here and we look at the legalization of cannabis, it’s all about how do the communities that were disproportionately locked up and actually affected by this, how do they now receive some kind of benefit behind that? And that’s where things are important, which was always part of the concept of the store.”
“This is the real give back. This is it coming to fruition. This is what it really looks like,” said Roy Castro, Co-Chair of STRIVE’s Board of Directors. “Partnering up with Joanne and Gotham, being a beneficiary, is going to directly impact those that’s been on those who have been harmed.”
Gotham is located at 3 East 3rd St. and will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with delivery coming soon. For more information, visit www.gotham.nyc.