While 2018 was a banner year for cannabis in the Empire State—in recent weeks both Governor Cuomo and New York CIty mayor Bill de Blasio announced their support of an adult-use market—CBD products remain the only recreationally available items for purchase in New York.
In the city, CBD has become as ubiquitous as cheap pizza or delayed subway trains; you can buy it at corner stores, yoga studios, and even cocktail bars. Unfortunately, it remains largely unregulated, and much of this mystery CBD has been shown to contain dangerous chemicals and other questionable ingredients.
Below is a list of some of the best and most reliable products available at New York’s burgeoning collection of CBD retailers and online stores alike. These are the products being sold with confidence and pride—manufactured and grown mostly in-state, these flower, edibles, tinctures, and more can go toe-to-toe with any of the best CBD products across the country.
Price: $39.99 (8-pack)
Where to find it: drinkrecess.com
Billed as an “antidote to modern times,” this line of infused sparkling water beverages is available in three flavors, each containing 10mg of Colorado-sourced hemp extract.
Though national brand Sprig has developed a CBD version of their popular THC-infused beverage which contains twice the CBD, Recess’ array of complex flavors and a classy design set it apart from the competition. Their subtle Peach Ginger is the clear standout, harboring Ginseng, l-theanine, and Schisandra (it puts your La Croix to shame). Bonus: they’ll ship it to you for free.
Hemp Lab Pre-Rolls
Where to find it: Find them in Bushwick—click here
Finding CBD flower in New York City is no easy task, but Brooklyn’s Hemp Lab NYC—the first brick and mortar CBD storefront in the area—carries a selection of high-end and flavorful strains sourced from Oregon.
The Electra pre-roll contains 15% CBD and 0.2% THC and has notes of chai and cherry. Wrapped in hemp paper, it checks all the boxes for a fabulous CBD flower experience.
Azuca Simple Syrup
Price: $10.95 (2oz bottle—other sizes vary in price)
Where to find it: azuca.weebly.com
The brainchild of Manhattan restauranteur, prolific painter, and all-around madhatter Ron Silver, Azuca’s simple syrup is remarkably fast-acting and contains (relatively) little sugar. Each bottle boats 40mg of CBD (although a higher dose version will be coming online in the near future) and 24 grams of sugar.
Silver has developed a patent-pending technology that makes the CBD in his various products exponentially more water-soluble; thus, the calming effects of the simple sugar typically kick in in less than 15 minutes. Azuca also sells a handful of THC products available in Massachusetts. Be patient, New Yorkers, change is coming. But for now, enjoy the simple syrup in any hot or cold beverage. Pro tip: it works great with juiced ginger.
Where to find it: tonicvibes.com
If you prefer your CBD flower from local shops, Tonic has you covered. Grown in upstate New York, Tonic’s flower is fully Farm Bill-compliant and delightfully smooth. While the company has made a name for themselves crafting a selection of tinctures sourced from out of state, they will soon be rolling out a new line made solely from their own flower. In 2019, don’t miss out on what will be one of the most fully-autonomous and vertically-integrated companies in New York cannabis.
Potion’s Peach Rings
Where to find it: buypotion.com
Local upstart Potion has already made waves with a line of delicious candies, and their sweet Peach Rings are a crowd favorite. At a recent market, they sold out in the first few hours. Succulent and chewy, each peach ring contains 50mg of Oregon-sourced CBD and can induce couch-lock just as well as your favorite THC strains.
plant people Tincture
Where to find it: plantpeople.co
It’s no surprise that plant people’s elegant Drops Tincture recently got a major shout-out in the New York Times. Fragrant and balanced, co-founder (and former star of ABC’s cooking show The Taste) Gabe Kennedy points out that the tincture’s effectiveness is due to the bioavailability of two main ingredients: fatty MCT oil and hemp seed oil. Although the $69 price tag may raise a couple of eyebrows, each bottle contains a whopping 520mg of Colorado-sourced CBD.
Ojai Energetics Tincture
Where to find it: ojaienergetics.com
Okay, I did say this list would be mostly local products, and here’s the exception: Ojai Energetics’ water-soluble and full-spectrum 250mg tincture is a force to be reckoned with; grainy and viscous, you can put it in any beverage without sacrificing its strength. The company’s website claims that it’s 20 times more effective than most CBD oil. While I can’t confirm that figure, I can say that its effects are nearly instantaneous, and its honey-like flavor is hard to forget.
Lock and Key Vapes
Where to find it: lkremedies.com
Manufactured in Brooklyn and lab-tested, Lock and Key Remedies’ line of vape cartridges utilize a wide range of derived terpenes to recreate some of your favorite strains. The GSC is particularly rich and flavorful. You can also buy a variety-pack and try out a bit of each. So even if you can’t legally buy Blue Dream, Cherry Pie, or GSC in New York quite yet, thanks to Lock and Key, you can at least convince your taste buds otherwise.