We hit the big city to see how New Yorkers feel about legalization and top East Coast strains like Gumbo.
This 420 weekend, New York City stayed lit from Wednesday to Sunday. With day one of legalization right around the corner, New Yorkers were eager to celebrate the plant at parks, pop-ups, and private smoke sessions throughout the city.
After ringing the New York Stock Exchange opening bell on the morning of 420, Leafly spent the rest of the week bouncing around The Big Apple to see how folks feel about legalization in New York and New Jersey.
Keep scrolling for exclusive photos and quotes from New York City’s most lit 420 to date.
Leafly rings in 4/20 with the frickin’ NASDAQ bell this year, y’all
Wednesday: 420 smoke sesh in Washington Square Park
While Leafly rung the bell on Wall Street, NYC’s most dedicated tokers started gathering at Washington Square Park just over two miles away from the Stock Exchange.
NYC’s legendary The Astor Club organized a massive smokeout in the park, which has served as a semi-safe space to burn one for decades. At 4:20 pm, what had to be one of NYC’s biggest public smoke sessions of all time officially began.
Check out these fire flicks by Leafly photographer Meg Schmidt from this historic day in the park.
Thursday: Legacy NYC art gallery pop-in
We popped in our favorite cannabis gifting shop, Legacy NYC, to see what they had cooking for the big day. The MRTA-compliant gift shop provides high-quality strains and products from sought-after brands like Viola, while also highlighting local artists.
Lawmakers have threatened to crack down on cannabis gifting shops like Legacy, but the operators continue to provide access to residents and medical patients who could not even buy legal flower at dispensaries until recently.
‘Legacy NYC’ art gallery gifts legal cannabis with local art
For 420 weekend, Legacy teamed up with Urban Aroma to throw a 4/20 celebration that included new drops by Gumbo, Infamous Farms, and People Army Farms. We got there too late to buy the goods, but still enjoyed the beautiful art and immaculate vibrations from everyone in attendance.
Check out photos from our winter visit to the gallery below, and be sure to stop by next time you’re in the city.
Friday: Grabbing good Gumbo from the BX
Gumbo is one of the most coveted strains on the entire East Coast. The genetics behind this hearty strain are unknown, and the “chefs” behind the secret recipe plan to keep it that way.
Lucky for us, Leafly contributor Tash Patwary got his hands on a seven-gram bag of authentic Gumbo goodness just as the week was winding down. He grabbed a batch straight from the Bronx after work and brought it by my hotel in Jersey for a taste test.
After sparking a two-gram blunt in the parking lot, time started to fly and we both felt the Gumbo elevate our minds to new dimensions of clarity, openness, and creativity.
We looked at the clock and noticed three hours had flown by while we talked about everything from work, to the weed game, to dating wins and losses. At the end of the day, Gumbo’s effects will have you mentally up but physically stuck, in the immortal words of BX queen Cardi B.
Stay tuned for Tash’s official hands-on review of NYC’s delicious Madison Square Gumbo, a New York delicacy that will keep simmering up the strain charts as availability increases.
Saturday: Smokers Club and Sherbinskis in Brooklyn
New York pizza, gelato-dripped craft beer, and an endless supply of bud? Sounds like a blessed Saturday on any weekend, let alone the highest of stoner holy weekends.
Smokers Club co-founder Shiest Bubz passed me a mean L on the ping pong table. But otherwise, all the vibes were winners-only. Jonny Shipes, the CEO of Cinematic Music Group and manager to influencers like Druski, was in the building.
But the star of the event was the Sherbinskis and Blue Point limited Double Dry Hopped Imperial IPA with Gelato Terpenes, a delicious and smooth IPA that goes great with a fat joint and a New York slice.
The special craft brew was made with African Queen, Southern Passion & Mosaic Incognito hops, plus a healthy dose of Gelato terpenes.
Sunday: Road trip to NJ to buy legal weed
To recover from the wild weekend, we took a Sunday afternoon road trip to New Jersey to see what their new legal rec market is hitting for.
In March, NJ lawmakers estimated the state was 100,000 pounds short of legal weed supply. They were worried the visiting traffic from New York and Pennsylvania buyers would ruin access for medical patients. But our trip to RISE dispensary in Paterson was pretty low-key, proving that NJ has this legalization thing under control.
We got to RISE right before they closed and were sad to see they didn’t have any edibles available for adult-use shoppers. There was also a very limited selection of flower on the menu. We settled on a seven-gram serving of Pakistani Chem by Good Green for $95 before sales tax (cash only, of course!). At least the ATM fee was low, and the check-in and check-out process were smooth.
Other rec strains on the menu included Animal Face, Animal Mints BX1, Banana & Cream, Dolato, and Rebel Sour by Rhythm; Funky Charms, Orange Kush Cake, and Chemlato 33 by Kind Tree; and L’Orange, Do-Lato, and Pakistani Chem from Good Green.
The Pakistani was only available in popcorn buds (smalls), but the quality was up to snuff. The buds were a soft, glowing green, and broke down very easy, leaving a sticky trail on whatever they touched.
The taste and smell were mildly potent, with notes of earthy caramel and a slight hints of citrus. The high I felt came on quickly, but didn’t last very long. Looking at the terpene and cannabinoid levels on the packaging, THCA (18.9%) is the dominant player, with THC (6.09%) and CBGA (.49%) providing support.
Sadly, the popcorn buds were too small for great pics. But they did provide a solid smoke, considering the surprisingly low THC level.
Overall, I’m happy to see NJ’s weed industry developing, but I can’t lie: Illicit suppliers still have better weed at better prices, for now. That doesn’t take away from this historic progress in The Garden State. I’m thrilled to see my state legalize a plant that should have never been illegal in the first place.
Now it’s time to free and forgive every single person who is dealing with unfair cannabis charges in NJ, and every other state.
New York Gov. Hochul wants drug war victims to open first legal dispensaries