For a store devoid of shoppers, though, MedMen still feels busy with activity and people. First, there’s the security — a group of old white men in striped polos who check IDs by the door. Customers must be at least 21 to enter. Usually, at this time in the afternoon, they’d also require a medical marijuana card, but today it’s quiet and the guard has decided he’ll extend their morning tour hours to the afternoon. Yes, in New York City people take tours in medical marijuana dispensaries.
A shop clerk dressed in a red MedMen T-shirt under a red MedMen sweatshirt walks over, hands me a copy of Ember, MedMen’s in-house glossy magazine published in partnership with Paper, and guides me towards the row of wood tables that, much like in the Apple Store, carry all of MedMen’s products.They sell five strains that range from pure CBD to pure THC, and they’re specifically given generic names like Wellness, Harmony, Awake, Calm, and Sleep because according to New York’s laws brand names can’t be “coined or fanciful.” All of the product sits within the table, covered by a piece of glass because, again as per state law, you can’t touch anything. By the back wall there’s a glass window that looks out into a vault where all of the product is stored, almost like an aquarium for the plant. Staff pharmacists handle and distribute the product. Tucked inside Ember there’s a list of Manhattan physicians who can prescribe it.