Neighbors on Duane Park are organizing against cannabis shop

Neighbors along Duane Park are organizing against the cannabis dispensary proposed for 177 Duane — Teresa Tarmey’s former space just east of Duane Park Patisserie.

There is also a proposal for 25 Ann, next to Da Claudio. Both applications will be heard at Community Board 1’s executive committee on April 18 at 6p. You can show up at the CB1 office at 1 Centre or participate on Webex live.

This applicant is for a CAURD license: for non-profits and individuals with drug convictions who also own businesses. And once again it has the most ridiculous and unsophisticated business name of Lyfe Charmz. (I continue to my mystified by the lack of marketing savvy here.) Still, this site should clear the state’s siting distance rules established by Office of Cannabis Management that say all licensees must be

  • 500 feet from a school
  • 200 feet from a house of worship
  • 1000 feet from another licensee.

Community Board 1 has created a list of what it calls “distancing preferences.” If an applicant follows these guidelines, CB1 will be more likely to approve the application:

  • 1000 feet from a playground
  • 500 feet from a public youth facility
  • 500 feet from a park or public open space
  • 500 feet from a harm reduction facility.

So clearly this applicant is within 1000 feet of the playground at Washington Market Park and 500 feet from the entrance to the park itself (we can pace it, but blocks from avenue to avenue are 600 feet wide, so safe to say).

For what it’s worth, the spokeswoman for the OCM, Taylor Randi Lee, said that the agency takes the advisory role of the community boards very seriously. “It matters to us,” she said.



  1. This location is very clearly within 500 feet of Washington Market School and is basically right in the heart of the most child-friendly, community-oriented part of the neighborhood, wedged between the two most beloved parks in Tribeca.

    As lofty as their intentions may have been by trying to legalize marijuana sales and help those negatively affected, the State has obliterated every ounce of goodwill it may have garnered by giving communities practically no say in the siting of these stores. These simply don’t belong in dense residential areas in the early stages of the rollout and it shouldn’t take massive, repeated community opposition to make that clear.

    Duane Street neighbors should post how others can support them.

    • FYI, this from the New York State Department of Education on what constitutes a school: “School grounds” means any building, structure and surrounding outdoor grounds, including entrances or exits, contained within a public or private pre-school, nursery school, elementary or secondary school’s legally defined property boundaries as registered in a county clerk’s office. The state also says the school has to occupy the entire building, but CB1 has taken issue with that, since most schools in NYC are not stand-alone school buildings like in the suburbs.

      • The Alcoholic Beverage Control Law “provides that the [200/500 ft] measurement be taken in a straight line from the center of the nearest entrance of the school/place of worship to the center of the nearest entrance of the establishment. The distance is determined using only entrances that are regularly used to give ingress to (a) the students of the school, (b) the general public into the place of worship; and (c) patrons into the establishment. Emergency/fire exits, maintenance access, and doors to gain access to non-public areas are not used in the measurement. If the entrance is set back from the sidewalk by a walkway or doorway, the measurement is taken from the center of the line where the walkway/doorway meets the sidewalk. For an establishment in a multi-story building, the building entrance at street level is used.”

        Further: “The statute refers to the school/place of worship being on the same street as the licensed premises.The buildings do not have to be on the same block. With respect to
        an establishment or school/place of worship on a corner lot, the building is considered to be on both streets, whether or not there is an entrance to the building on both streets.”

        See PDF file online at

      • Also

        “Exclusive use as school/place of worship

        “While the law uses the phrase ‘building used exclusively’ as a school/place of worship, the courts have adopted a test that looks to whether the building is used primarily as a school/place of worship. The building will still be considered a school/place of worship as long as any use is incidental to, and are not inconsistent with or detracting from the predominant character of the building as a school/place of worship.

        “In 2007, the 200 foot rule was amended to clarify that the use of a building for certain purposes would be considered incidental to its primary use as a place of worship. Those uses include, but are not limited to:
        • the conduct of legally authorized games of bingo or other games of chance held as a means of raising funds for the not-for-profit religious organization which conducts services at the place of worship or for other not-for-profit organizations or groups;
        • use of the building for fund-raising performances by or benefitting the not-for-profit religious organization which conducts services at the place of worship or other not-for-profit organizations or groups;
        • the use of the building by other religious organizations or groups for religious services or other purposes;
        • the conduct of social activities by or for the benefit of the congregants;
        • the use of the building for meetings held by organizations or groups providing bereavement counseling to persons having suffered the loss of a loved one, or providing advice or support for conditions or diseases including, but not limited to, alcoholism, drug addiction, cancer, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s disease; and
        • the use of the building for blood drives, health screenings, health information meetings, yoga classes, exercise classes or other activities intended to promote the health of the congregants or other persons;
        • and use of the building by non-congregant members of the community for private social functions.”

        “In addition, the amendment also provided that a building would still be considered as ‘used exclusively’ as a place of worship even when the not-for-profit religious organization occupying the place of worship accepts payments from those using the building to assist in defraying costs related to that party’s use of the building”

      • CB1 took issue with it because the State is very clearly incorrectly applying the law. CB1 is correct. The State botched the rollout and now they’re trying to jam through “legal” shops in illegal locations in order to save face. See my other comment.

  2. 1000 feet from a playground
    500 feet from a public youth facility
    500 feet from a park or public open space
    500 feet from a harm reduction facility.
    are you sure these are cb’1s “distancing preferences”?
    they recently approved the app for 386 canal which is within 500 ft from 2 parks (alberto capsuto park and tribeca park)
    various open spaces (grand canal court and duarte square),
    within 500 ft of a school (cpc early childhood center) and about 40 ft away from an addiction treatment center (Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation) – where were these “distancing preferences” when approving this app????

  3. At least smoking the skunk weed should be banned from public places. Unfortunately, these days it’s smoked in the parks (already forbidden), on the trains (likewise), etc.

  4. Per NYS Liquor Authority Mapping Project (LAMP), there are no schools or places of worship within 500 feet. PS 234 is shown as approximately 663 feet (presumably to the entrance). JCP Downtown (as a place of worship) is shown as approximately 706 ft.

  5. Is there a petition we can sign to make sure this store does not open?

    • Please attend the community board meeting on April 18th at 6pm. I’m sure it would be tremendously helpful if as many people as possible would do that.

  6. To me, the issue is not the legal shops. The State screwed up by delaying the rollout so much that we now are inundated with garish, illegal shops selling questionable wares.

    The legal shops are safe and guarded and are much less prone to robberies and other illicit activity compared to the illegal ones. Similarly, people are not smoking in the legal shops, whereas they often do in the illegal ones.

    All that to say: we should remove barriers to the legal shops and crack the heck down on the ones we need to actually worry about.

    The bigger issue to me is that it smells like weed in Manhattan everywhere, and I can see how that bothers people, especially those with kids. But smoking outside is legal, so if we want to fix that, we have to change the law.

    • I should clarify that I am NOT in favor of making it illegal to smoke outside, since we all know what the NYPD would do (and to whom) with that permission. Just saying that it’s legal to smoke outside, and I know that the odor bothers people.

  7. I personally am supportive of the legal dispensaries. If this location meets the state’s requirements, I am all for it. Legal dispensaries are very careful about not allowing under-age people to enter, and if we support folks that are doing this the right/legal way, we will end up with fewer unlicensed weed shops.

  8. No one wants dispensaries in Tribeca. What don’t the shop owners, landlords, and anyone else who approves it understand? This is a professionals and family friendly neighborhood without a lot of riff-raff. Beyond ridiculous.

    • I think business people know that a LOT of people consume marijuana and gummies — across all socio-economic levels. The market here is quite robust.

    • “No one wants dispensaries in Tribeca.” If this is true they will all quickly go out of business.

      Over the longer term, Tribeca will have exactly the number of dispensaries that can be supported by the amount of customer patronage. Just like banks, restaurants and other shops.

    • I love the implication here that ‘professionals’ and people with families don’t consume cannabis. What world, and what year, do you think we are in?

      Almost every professional and family-having person I know partakes occasionally (or more!). They all also really enjoy wine, imagine.

  9. I too have nothing against legal dispensaries. But this particular block just worries me. Cash business, quiet block, lots of families and kids. Add to that mix armed guards, a park that’s already pretty pungent and it just seems like a more thoughtful solution could be found in a neighborhood with plenty of open storefronts in less family-impacting areas.

  10. How many of these do we need?

  11. Pot shops also pay high rent so start crowding out local stores

  12. I wish someone would publish a study about the different degrees of high effect behavior. Just how many people amongst us in daily life are under the influence? Cashiers in Wholefoods? Healthcare workers? Police? Teachers? Babysitters? Construction workers? Parents at pick up time?
    In general the effect of cannabis use has been downplayed, especially since the push for legalization. All you hear is the benefit of cannabis. If so we should be in paradise by now.

  13. The reason there is such a push for legal cannabis dispensaries is they pay landlords a premium for their space.

  14. I am very much for the opening of legal shops that responsibly sell these products. As a parent, the proliferation of unlicensed stores selling weed is scary – if they are willing to skirt licensing, why should I trust that they won’t sell to minors.

    Legal stores are well maintained and secured and do not bring “riff raff” any more than Chambers Street Wines does.

    Using the proximity to schools is just the way that wealthy people have learned to fight things they don’t want on their block. If you live in NYC, embrace all walks of NYC life.

  15. As a local parent of a teenager I can speak firsthand and let you know that my 18 year old has purchased gummies locally (Church St) and has NEVER been carded. She often complains however that it is impossible to buy alcohol. I’m sure that she is not the only underage customer.