NEW YORK–In the affluent SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, a new cannabis museum called House of Cannabis (aka THC NYC) is set to open on April 7.
The museum is the brainchild of Robert Frey, the CEO of the company, who has previously co-founded Pure Management Group, the creator of Pure Nightclub in Las Vegas, and Pussycat Dolls Lounge. The 30,000-square-foot space, leased for 10 years, is one of the city’s largest real estate deals of 2022.
Robert Frey, CEO of Pure Management
This opening coincides with the issuance of more than 100 new dispensary licenses to New Yorkers who were previously arrested for cannabis crimes. While efforts are being made to regulate and overtake the booming black-market cannabis market, more out-of-state businesses are also flooding in.
This development highlights how even as the heavily regulated new industry is being used to provide opportunities for those with past cannabis arrests, the city that spawned Wall Street is also giving rise to more market-driven ideas.
During a recent tour given to Bloomberg of the still-under-construction site, visitors saw a “disorientation room” with wavy mirrors that led to a glowing green space that showcased cannabis-related clips, such as Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg with Martha Stewart. Other exhibits, created by various artists, highlighted personal struggles with cannabis arrests, displayed flickering films of the brain under the influence of cannabis, and isolated different smells from essential oils of cannabis plants.
The House of Cannabis (THC NYC) was inspired by CEO Robert Frey’s nightclub and cannabis expertise, and after researching museums like the Museum of Ice Cream and the Tenement Museum in New York and the Slime Factory in New Jersey.
“We’re educational, we focus on music, art, film, science — you don’t see that in a nightclub,” Frey said.
The museum’s cost so far, including its lease, has been $15 million, and admission will cost between $25 and $75, according to Frey. A retail space on the main floor will feature live glassblowing and sell lifestyle products. The top floor is a botanical-themed space filled with plush green chairs and plants that Frey anticipates will be rented out for events, starting at $50,000.
The investment, which was led by Mitchell Baruchowitz, managing partner of Merida Capital Holdings, includes around $350 million under management across 60 to 70 companies. Main image: THC NYC’s SoHo building. Source: THC NYC