Article by Manisha Krishnan, Vice News
For better or worse, Toronto is often described as a poor man’s New York. We have some stuff, they just have more, and better stuff.
As a cannabis reporter, I wanted to know if that applied to weed, so I decided to get a better sense of New York’s weed scene on a recent trip there. In a nutshell, my impression is it’s a bit basic, when compared to both Toronto and my hometown of Vancouver (the home of the world-renowned BC Bud and one of the largest 420 celebrations in the world). It’s especially surprising when you consider that New Yorkers apparently consume more cannabis than any other city in the world.
I’m not one to pass up on an opportunity to troll one of the greatest cities in the world, so here is a list of everything wrong with New York weed.
Dearth of dispensaries
For a regular pot consumer, dispensaries are life changing. And, even though weed is not yet legal in Canada, we have a lot of them here—hundreds in between Ontario and BC alone, plus plenty online who do mail delivery. In Toronto, it seems there’s a dispensary on every other street corner. The one I currently use sells weed to anyone aged 19 and older and gives out neighbourhood discounts. Having a dispensary just makes things a lot more convenient—you get a decent selection of weed; it’s always stocked; you can go in whenever you want; you don’t have to arrange a pick-up location or time; you don’t have to make small talk; I could go on. But New York doesn’t have any—at least none that are recreational. Yeah, I get that it’s not legal there, but it’s not legal here either and there’s still a massive underground market. “So, people have to use dealers?” I asked my friend who lives in Williamsburg, a note of incredulity in my tone. Sorry, but using a street dealer for weed in 2018 if you live in a major city seems kind of primitive.
Several people I spoke to use delivery services that essentially act as an Uber for weed. While it sounds pretty decent, I had a bit of sticker shock when I found out the prices people were paying. One friend said the first eighth costs $60 and $40 for every eighth after that. Another, who grew up with me in Vancouver and moved to New York a few years ago, said she pays $50-$65 for an eighth. For comparison, an eighth costs about $25 in Canada—and that’s Canadian dollars. So basically you’re paying triple the price in New York. That’s pretty much on par with the cost for a gram of cocaine in Toronto. With the amount I blaze, I would probably have to start growing my own plants to avoid paying those prices.