4/20 Exclusive: Legal Cannabis in New York City

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For the first legal 4/20 in New York City, the setting was fitting. Undaunted, in 2017 the pair launched Happy Munkey, which for tax purposes is a New York City cannabis-inspired lifestyle brand and registered state LLC. For practical purposes, Happy Munkey was one of New York City’s pre-legalization marijuana speakeasies. Meaning: legal weed in New York City with brown guys from Uptown deeply involved. Eugenio Garcia (Publisher of Cannabis Now), Vladimir Bautista (Happy Munkey), David Hess (Tress Capital) at Bobby Van’s in NYC on April 20, 2021. To get in, you had to know somebody, or you had to know Happy Munkey existed—which, given the gift of Instagram, wasn’t particularly challenging.

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On a bright and unseasonably warm April 20, 2021 in New York City, you could stand in a blocks-long line and wait for a free joint in Union Square as police watched and did nothing. Or you could dip into a particular rathskeller on Broad Street in the Financial District, within throwing distance of the New York Stock Exchange. Underground, Vladimir Bautista and Ramon Reyes were working the room at their “coming back” party. If nearby, you likely caught a whiff of what they believe the next 4/20, and...

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