New Cannabis Shop Opens in Mid-Town East, Nearest Legal Weed Store to Grand Central –


When Joseph Abramov was 19, he saw a business opportunity in the up-and-coming weed delivery scene. “Everyone was involved,” he told Our Town, “and everything was under the table.” He began running his own delivery service in Queens, and built a successful business that he says dominated the market. But throughout its operations, he ran into trouble with the law “a bunch of times,” and watched some of his associates go to prison. After two years, he decided to close up shop and pivot to something more legitimate, more stable—real estate. Over 13 years later, Urban Leaf, a new cannabis dispensary at 977 2nd Ave. in Midtown East, is Abramov’s reentry into the market, this time with the state’s blessing. As a licensee under the state Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) program, which granted first dibs on dispensary licenses to those convicted of marijuana-related offenses and their immediate family members, he’s among the first wave of legal weed entrepreneurs in New York City. But the program’s rollout has been less than ideal, hampered by lawsuits, illegal smoke shops, and the hefty costs of getting a business off the ground. After getting his licensed approved, Abramov said, “it’s been kind

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