These consumption lounges are operating without licenses and it seems the city and state don’t care. Since the adult-use license program hasn’t been written and approved, these operations are technically violating the law. No law means no violations. So there really isn’t anything law enforcement can do. These lounges range from the first to market Happy Munkey to pop-up neighborhood lounges that are often located next to illicit street sellers.
These lounges are in big demand since many people in New York live in small apartment situations and some landlords don’t even allow cigarette smoking within their buildings. So if you don’t want to sit in a park or smoke as you walk down the sidewalk, a lounge is a great place to go. Here are some of the top lounges in New York:
Happy Munkey is one of the first consumption lounges to open in New York City and is located in midtown. Vladimir Bautista is the co-founder and managing member of Happy Munkey LLC, an internationally-known NYC lifestyle company that is synonymous with cannabis culture. Happy Munkey hosts popular VIP events that connect politicians, chefs, doctors, influencers, athletes, and creative artists with each other based on a mutual love of the plant. The company hosted its biggest event with the immersive Van Gogh art installation. The club is member-only, but just about anyone can become a member. Vladimir and his partner Ramon Reyes, cohost the popular HappyMunkey on the Boulevard podcast where they bring the Happy Munkey to the masses.
Astor Club is located on the Lower East Side of the city in a small club that has access to a back yard – a rarity in the city. Having this little outdoor space allows consumers to sit outside versus a smoke filled room. This is also a members-only club. Members pay approximately $200 a year and then are expected to buy an eighth of cannabis when they visit the club. It plays off the venerable New York society family – the Astors. Its tagline is “The highest club in high society.” It has a secure entrance and since the neighborhood is mostly Chinese immigrants, there is no desire to rat out the cannabis neighbors.
High Garden NYC
High Garden takes a different approach from the dark cannabis lounges like Happy Munkey and Astor Club. It is located in Tribeca and the hours are more like a restaurant. It operates on Wednesday evening until 10pm and then Sunday Brunch. The company also has a Chelsea location that operates from Wednesday to Friday 7pm-11pm. It promotes an “elevated experience.” There is a Studenglass bar for consumers to try these very expensive water pipes. Brunch often features live music or a DJ. More details on events can be found at the company’s instagram account @highgarden.nyc. Its tag line is “For those seeking a high-end lifestyle.”