The Buzz is True: Verdi Cannabis is Open for Business in Chelsea

Sign of the (high) times: Verdi Cannabis is the first of its kind to arrive in Chelsea. | Photo by Joseph Puglisi

WHAT: Verdi Cannabis, a New York State Licensed Dispensary 

WHERE: 158 West 23rd Street (btw. 6th & 7th Aves.)

WHEN: Mon.-Thurs. 10am-8pm / Fri. & Sat. 12pm-10pm  / Sun. 11am-7pm

Security guards such as Diesel, pictured, won’t let you inside without a valid ID. | Photo by Scott Stiffler

BY SCOTT STIFFLER | With a location that puts it on a block already occupied by two smoke shops, the “only legal source in Chelsea” for purchasing cannabis made good on that claim—and made history—when it opened for business on Friday, January 12. Vetted at the Community Board level and licensed by New York State, Verdi Cannabis is indeed the first of its kind in its 10011 zip code—but not the last.

Prior to presenting ID to security guard Diesel and entering the cannabis dispensary just before noon on its opening day, Chelsea Community News spent some of the previous evening listening in on a Zoom gathering organized by the London Terrace Tenants Association (LTTA). The scenario: LTTA members and nearby neighbors quiz the person who wants cannabis dispensary dibs on an empty storefront space at 219 Ninth Ave., at West 23rd Street. But that, as they say, is a story for another time (and one we expect to publish before the weekend is out).

Glass cases house particular products, and brands. | Photo by Scott Stiffler

For now, though, Verdi Cannabis stands tall as Chelsea’s Big Daddy Kane of Mary Jane, offering its customers a regulated, clean, and well-lit (so to speak) indoor space that takes the stigma—and risk of arrest—out of the pot transaction equation. Say goodbye to the days of feigning glaucoma at the Doctor’s office, or skulking around Washington Square Park to score a dime bag that may or may not be mostly shake, pencil shavings, and/or oregano (this once happened to a friend of mine). Home delivery is a service not available at this time but said to be on the way, according to General Manager/Buyer Shanice.

L-R; General Manager/Buyer Shanice, Verdi Cannabis licensee Ellis Soodak, and cannabis attorney & legalization activist Jeffrey Hoffman. | Photo by Joseph Puglisi

All you need to walk out of Verdi with product is to be 21 years of age or older and present a valid ID, twice—once before security allows you to enter the premises, and again at the point of purchase (a counter to the left, in back of the long, narrow space). Want to speed up the process or simply immerse yourself in a top-to-bottom tour of the inventory? Kiosks, located on the right about halfway into the space, allow you to initiate a transaction or confirm you’ve arrived to pick up an order. Knowledgeable staff, of which there are many, will help you make sense of the many choices that can be found by utilizing the vertical, touch-sensitive, tablet-like kiosks. And those choices, like the primo stuff, are so high in volume, it might just make your head spin. At Verdi, cannabis comes in the form of flower, pre-rolls, vaporizers, edibles, concentrates, tinctures, and beverages.

And that’s the buzz on Verdi Cannabis, Day One. Further details will be provided soon, after Chelsea Community News conducts a promised phone interview with Verdi’s ownership. Meantime, click here to read our August, 2023 coverage of Verdi’s vetting by Community Board 4, and click here to visit the Verdi Cannabis website. Questions? Comments? Send an email to CCNews’ founder/editor, via

Kiosks let you take a tour of the extensive inventory. | Photo by Scott Stiffler


Choices abound, under glass, at Verdi Cannabis. | Photo by Scott Stiffler


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