Medical marijuana dispensary MedMen may have only been open on Manhattan’s tony Fifth Avenue for two weeks, but for the California-based company, its expansion into the city was a long time coming.
“This has been a process 20 years in the making, from California legalizing medical marijuana over two decades ago all the way to having a marijuana store on Fifth Avenue,” Daniel Yi, MedMen’s vice president of corporate communications, told Metro. “It speaks to the larger evolution of cannabis in the U.S. — and for MedMen as a company. We’ve been working toward this moment for the better part of a decade.”
MedMen aptly opened its doors at 433 Fifth Avenue on 4/20, but the store isn’t its first in New York state. It also has locations upstate in Buffalo and Salina and in Lake Success on Long Island. MedMen also has a dispensary in North Las Vegas and seven in California.
MedMen joins two other medical marijuana dispensaries in Manhattan: Etain near Grand Central Terminal and Columbia Care near Union Square, and Yi said the Fifth Avenue store is “less about the business it does today. The whole thing about this cannabis space is having your sights into the future.”
The future of cannabis and legalization as a whole in America looks like it may be bright, especially as former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner recently joined a cannabis company’s board, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer introduced legislation to decriminalize marijuana and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has commissioned a study on taxing and regulating adult cannabis use.
“I think we’re on the right side of this issue as a company,” Yi said. “We expect the federal prohibition of marijuana to end, hopefully soon, because it makes all the sense in the world.”
Go inside MedMen’s Fifth Avenue store
MedMen’s swanky 2,000-square-foot store at 433 Fifth Avenue is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Medically qualified New Yorkers can purchase five different types of gel caps, drops and vape pens with varying ratios of THC and CBD products for their specific health needs.
Take a look at MedMen's menu:
• Wellness provides a pure CBD ratio for patients with epilepsy, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease
• Harmony is a perfect balance of THC and CBD for those suffering from multiple sclerosis, cancer, IBS or chronic pain conditions
• Awake is a 20:1 THC to CBD ratio for a daytime treatment option for moderate to severe pain, MS, ALS, HIV/AIDS or IBS
• Calm provides a 50:1 THC to CBD ratio for more severe symptoms associated with those aforementioned conditions
• Sleep provides a 100:1 THC to CBD ratio for a relaxing and sedative effect for nighttime use
While the benefits of medical marijuana are becoming well-documented, Yi recently saw firsthand how much cannabis can help. His father suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s and recently stopped eating, so Yi gave his mother a small sample of tincture to have him try.
“She never smoked pot in her entire life — she thought marijuana was the devil’s weed and only ‘bad’ people smoked to her,” Yi shared.
But she gave the drops to Yi’s father, “and three days later, he was eating again — when prescription appetite enhancers didn’t work for him,” Yi said.