Manhattan Welcomes Its First Black Woman-Owned Cannabis Dispensary: ‘Bliss + Lex’

by Gee NY
Nicole Lucien co-owns Manhattan's first Black-owned cannabis dispensary

In a historic moment for Manhattan’s cannabis industry, “Bliss + Lex” has opened its doors as the borough’s first Black woman-owned cannabis dispensary.

Located at the corner of East 86th and Lexington Avenue, this pioneering establishment marks a significant milestone in New York’s burgeoning cannabis market.

Nicole Lucien, the visionary behind “Bliss + Lex,” expressed her excitement, stating:

“Since cannabis recreationally was legalized in New York, we’ve had our eyes set on applying for a license.”

Together with her husband, Christopher Lucien, they are poised to transform their long-held dream into a reality.

For Nicole and Christopher, the venture represents more than just a business opportunity; it symbolizes a chance to secure a brighter future for their family, including their five-year-old twins, Veronica and Ryan.

Christopher Lucien emphasized the transformative potential of the endeavor, stating, “This allowed us the opportunity to create generational wealth and change the course of my family forever.”

Nicole Lucien’s achievement as the first Black woman in Manhattan to secure a cannabis dispensary license is a testament to her perseverance and determination.

However, their journey to entrepreneurship has not been without its challenges. Christopher, who shares ownership of “Bliss + Lex,” has faced obstacles due to a prior drug conviction.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 20: Co-Founders and owners Nicole Lucien and Christopher Lucien pose during the grand opening of the Bliss + Lex dispensary in collaboration with the Housing Works CUARD Community Initiative on March 20, 2024 in New York City. It is the first Black Woman owned dispensary in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Bliss + Lex)

Despite encountering barriers in other ventures, the couple found hope through New York’s program prioritizing retail licenses for individuals with criminal histories.

Reflecting on his past experiences, Christopher Lucien shared:

“I have tried to start several businesses like my wife was saying home improvement construction, and because of my criminal background I was denied, even after 20 some odd years of a clean record there was never a chance where I had a second chance this was always been held against me.”

As “Bliss + Lex” prepares to serve the Manhattan community, workers diligently put the finishing touches on the store, ensuring a welcoming and inviting environment for customers.

Situated in prime retail real estate in front of a subway entrance, the dispensary aims to provide a comfortable space for patrons to explore cannabis products tailored to their preferences.

“We wanted to create a very warm welcoming environment explore the plant and pick up the product that’s perfect for them,” Nicole Lucien remarked, emphasizing the store’s commitment to offering a personalized and enriching shopping experience.

“Bliss + Lex” represents not only a milestone in Manhattan’s cannabis landscape but also a beacon of hope and opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly those from marginalized communities.

As the Luciens embark on this new chapter, their journey serves as a testament to resilience, determination, and the transformative power of entrepreneurship.

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