Another smoke shop coming to Church

Hard to believe but yet another smoke shop is coming to the neighborhood, this time at 279 Church between Franklin and White — the former Twiggy’s To Go space. K. caught the action and these pics — I stopped by yesterday and they told me it was a smoke shop, hence the walls covered with (plastic) grass.

I am a bit mystified by the number of places now — my count is at seven but let me know if you think you have a solid list — and why the stores are here, in what is a low-traffic neighborhood. But maybe I am just way behind the times.

Part of the explanation, of course, is in the profits. Crain’s reports that the state’s chair of the New York Cannabis Control Board, Tremaine Wright, said that her agency would work with state tax agents, local police and consumer-protection officials to rein in the estimated 1,500 unlicensed retailers around the city that sell pre-rolled joints, edibles and other forms of marijuana.

From Crain’s: “In the last two years, unlicensed cannabis shops have spread across the city like a weed because profits, after rent and other expenses, range from $1,000 to $15,000 a day, according to Paula Collins, a Manhattan attorney who specializes in the business of cannabis.”

The city now has four legal shops, one in Soho and one in the Village. But not sure anyone bothers to shop at those…



  1. We live in a completely lawless city, where obvious criminal activity is just ignored. Our public leaders are completely incompetent and seem intent on destroying NYC.

    • Yes, it seems more and more so. What happened, for example, to “Don’t block the box” and enforcement against red-light running and speeding? Streets feel like chaos. Canal Street area especially bad, and near the tunnel. Counterfeit sellers, litter, public urination (and worse), numerous break-ins on our street, graffiti, etc. I had high hopes for this mayor, but I don’t know whether it’s his fault or not, but this city is a mess.

      • Cops were actually kicking all of the counterfeiters out on Canal this afternoon. There were probably 6+ cops and a few vehicles. Was a great sight to see! First time I’ve ever seen that happen.

        Agreed on don’t block the box too. The traffic enforcement is just nonexistent on Hudson/Canal—very dangerous.

        • I walked by there later (after your comment) and the counterfeiters were back. Lots of them were on the opposite side of Broadway from their usual spot by the old bank building. But some were there as well, by the bank building (now “Inter”…?). Once again….lawlessness.

          • The lawlessness and lack of enforcement is just weird considering the NYPD 2023 budget is a record high 11.2 billion dollars — and they’re already on pace to double their yearly overtime budget (from around 400 million to 800 million).

            It begs the question: What are they doing?

    • Reademan,
      Unbelievable and sad.
      Criminal activity is ignored.
      The amount of public drug use is really scary.
      And nearly everyone seems to have an entitled “can do whatever i want” approach – proactive littering, letting dogs pee in flower beds, bicyclists running red lights/going wrong way. The list could go on….

  2. The Smoke Shop at 321 Broadway across the street from the Federal Building was just busted on Thursday.

  3. Five smoke shops on Canal between West Broadway and Church!

  4. Even if weed is legalized, it should be banned from public places. The smoke is noxious and I for one am not seeking a second-hand high.

  5. Report all illegal smoke shops to 311. The more complaints they get, the more likely the police will bust them.

  6. 4 smoke shops on church between reade and chambers. YES FOUR. Two on one block, two on the opposite side. Turn on Chambers and there are two more. So a total of 6 on 1 and a half blocks. Again please already share the link to report illegal sellers.

  7. There are only 4 legal smoke shops? Which ones are they?

    Is there an online database to check if a given place is legal?
    Presumably some legal ones will appear in Tribeca and elsewhere. Unfortunately.