Manhattan Welcomes Bliss + Lex, the Borough’s First Black Woman-Owned Cannabis Dispensary

A groundbreaking development has taken place in New York’s burgeoning legal cannabis market as Bliss + Lex becomes Manhattan’s first Black woman-owned dispensary. The newly opened retail store, located at 128 East 86th St., is co-founded by Nicole and Christopher Lucien, who were granted a coveted Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) license.

(Adam Melnyk / Shutterstock)

The Luciens hail Bliss + Lex’s launch as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to secure a legacy within the cannabis industry while giving back to their community. Nicole, a former NYC public school educator, expressed pride in sharing her “passion for the plant” through entrepreneurship after years dedicated to service.

“As a former New York City public school educator, my life has been dedicated to family and community, our careers in service, and now we are proud to share our passion for the plant,” said Nicole Lucien.

Notably, Bliss + Lex represents the second CAURD retailer launched in collaboration with Housing Works’ social equity initiative. This program provides critical support to entrepreneurs from communities impacted by cannabis criminalization.

Christopher Lucien, who overcame a prior cannabis conviction to become a co-owner, views the license as an empowering second chance. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think a cannabis conviction…would be the key to this door of opportunity for myself and my family.”

The new 2,603 square-foot dispensary aims to deliver personalized consumer experiences, offering on-site ordering, educational walkthroughs, and products from brands like Off Hours, 1906, and TYSON 2.0. Its opening marks a significant milestone as New York rolls out its adult-use cannabis program prioritizing equity and restorative justice.

“This opening marks a big step forward in our efforts to build an equitable market here in New York,” said Sasha Nutgent, Housing Works’ Director of Retail Cannabis. “Nicole and Christopher represent exactly what NY’s adult-use market needs more of.”


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