Some might call me jaded because, as a long-time writer and resident of New York City, I’ve been invited to cover a lot of super cool openings, product launches, galas and press parties. Been there, done that. So why was it that during a pre-opening soft launch of THC NYC (The House of Cannabis) ahead of the official public opening tomorrow, my jaw was continually dropping to the floor? Truth is, I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
Their website calls THC NYC a “multi-sensory, transportive experience,” but that’s putting it mildly: The 30,000-square-foot space covers five floors in a gorgeous SoHo loft in Lower Manhattan, and within minutes, I had ambled through a dazzling hall of mirrors, vibed to tunes while taking a ride on a giant turntable, marveled at a series of gallery-like, glow-in-the-dark art installations and chilled in a mini-theater to truly psychedelic mind movies.
Before and after this delightful assault on the senses, I was among hundreds of guests happily congregating in the classic, airy lounge—actually, the penthouse (available for private parties)—with plush furnishings, lounge seating and adorned throughout with various cannabis plants. The place was overflowing with an insanely eclectic mix of New Yorkers high on life; including casually-dressed hipsters, chic models, older sophisticates, not to mention a dash of weed royalty: None other than Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong were in The House of Cannabis.
Inside THC NYC
What follows are a few of the highlights from my jaunt inside THC NYC, which spans multiple floors and features ten exhibitions showcasing art, music, fashion, cultivation and reform.
The fourth floor is a mind-blowing feast for the senses: a multimedia flight through the past, present and future of cannabis called “The Forum,” where you experience an array of artful, historical, celebratory, unjust and iconic moments that cannabis has had on our culture. “We wanted to highlight the social injustice around cannabis, especially in the Black and brown communities,” says The House of Cannabis owner Robert Frey.
Nearby was the “Music” room, a spectacular mash-up of lights featuring a giant turntable, which you can lay on while it spins slowly around as you listen to a mash-up of tunes on headphones. “It’s like a silent disco,” Frey says. Everything does sound better on vinyl.
But in perhaps the highlight among so many highs, I marveled at the Hypnodrome, where you can relax in THC NYC’s amazing studio replica of an indoor park, which encourages people to hang out and chill among a giant sculptural representation of the tree of life, intended to reflect how the cannabis culture creates a beautiful sense of community. You can also levitate to new highs in the mini-theatre, which features spectacular visuals replicating what the brain goes through when you’re high. We all just sat back in the amazingly comfy lounge chairs and were blown away as we immersed in the brain’s perspective.
Though it’s still under construction, there will also be a spectacular cultivation area (“The Growing Room”) which is described on the destination’s website as “New York’s first-ever urban grow—a higher education of the lifecycle of the plant at each stage of growth.”
THC NYC, The House of Cannabis, opens tomorrow, April 7. For tickets, visit thcnyc.com.