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How the Right Tech Stack Helps Lenox Hill Cannabis Co. Serve New York's Upper East Side

Lenox Hill Cannabis Co. in NY Upper East Side

Location, location, location. In retail, it determines the success of a business, and in the case of Lenox Hill Cannabis Co., is what guided and helped refine both their name and New York dispensary brand.

Co-founder Wei Hu and his partners, Michael Graubard and Dominick Cuffaro, were always determined. They shared a passion to further destigmatize and normalize cannabis consumption, to promote education, and ensure safe, legal access to the plant. With a highly coveted Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) license for the Manhattan Region in hand, they focused on securing the right location first, and finalizing their business model and brand second.

Determined to Open a NY Dispensary, Location TBD…

“Because of the New York State licensing process, we really didn’t know where our location would be,” Wei recalls. “My original vision was, we’ll get real estate space, we’ll white-box it, set up a table, place a jar of cannabis and a POS station on top, and we’re ready to sell. We named our business WhiteboxTHC LLC because we knew cannabis would sell irrespective of the interior décor.”

When their real estate search led them to a prime location in New York’s tony Upper East Side, in the historic neighborhood of Lenox Hill, that sparse concept transformed into something very different. Instead of targeting a broader customer base in a more commercial area like downtown, Wei and his partners fleshed out the concept of normalizing cannabis consumption by catering to a more specific and residential segment.

Building a Dispensary Experience for the Upper East Side

“Once we had a neighborhood, we really wanted to focus on our target clientele,” Wei explains. “What we realized is, in our neighborhood we want to serve people previously not, quote-unquote, associated with cannabis use, which is really upper-income, high net wealth individuals, and more women. What we want to do is really appeal to new cannabis users and provide direct, immediate neighborhood access.”


Home to over a dozen world-class teaching hospitals, with 30,000 daily healthcare workers, the area of Lenox Hill is one of the densest and highest-income neighborhoods in the world. To best serve that substantial potential base, the partners chose create a retail brand that—rather than overtly standing out—blends right in and makes residents feel comfortable visiting, because it resembles other retailers in their community. Hence, Lenox Hill Cannabis Co.


Far from a barren commercial shell, they built upon the building’s historic legacy as a former saloon and cigar lounge, shaped a beautiful dispensary and stocked it with over 700 product SKUs. They knew it was critical to cater to individual tastes, consumption preferences, and a wide variety of consumers, many new to cannabis, but all accustomed to the modern retail experience. To meet those expectations, they needed to offer convenience, omnichannel options, and a personalized shopping experience—none of it possible without the right technology.

Picking The Right Dispensary Tech Stack

There is temptation, not to mention a lot of pressure, for New York cannabis retailers to invest in “all-in-one” dispensary solutions, but Wei and his partners had concerns about the lack of flexibility, the dependency on legacy software, and reputation for reliability they offered. Just as they spawned a dispensary experience specifically for the Upper East Side, they were highly selective on their tech stack that would best support their vision of Lenox Hill Cannabis Co.

They opted for a slim tech stack that integrated some heavy hitters in retail software. They chose Carrot for their e-commerce and delivery, allowing them to leverage the power of SEO to ensure they are easily found online. KayaPush helps them manage their human resources, with everything from onboarding to payroll to scheduling—including an app employees can use to swap shifts and manage direct deposits. For their point of sale and inventory management platform, the tech most intrinsically tied to the bottom line, Lenox Hill picked Cova Software.

The Value of POS Reliability, Flexibility, and Support

“I was recruited pretty aggressively by [other software vendors], but I wanted something more flexible,” Wei explains of his selection process. “Knowing that Cova has a stronger track record and system redundancies than other POS systems made me feel a little more secure. Having a fully operational system that refuses to go down has been tremendous.”

In addition to the reliability and flexibility, Wei values the dispensary software’s ease of use, relatively-flat learning curve, and support available for his partners and staff, calling Cova “Very easy, very accessible. We do very minimal budtender POS training, only because the system is so easy to use. On the back end, I’ve been working with the implementation team, uploading products, automating the addition of photographs, setting up API integration with my other tech stack partners—it’s really great having easy access to a dedicated support staff. Being able to directly edit Excel spreadsheets of product data, and have those updates loaded into our POS, is what enabled us to start sales one week after full licensure.”

Time to Face the Biggest Challenge

With the right software and strategies in place to automate, streamline, and simplify operations, the Lenox Hill team can free up time to focus on the biggest challenge when operating a dispensary in a new market like New York—tackling the unknown.


Wei, a former law professor and founding partner at MRTA Law, is well-versed and completely immersed in New York cannabis laws and regulations. His partners, no strangers to retail, ran a successful pizzeria in the Financial District for nearly three decades—they were quick to learn, despite their wealth of knowledge and experience, there’s nothing that can quite prepare you for running a dispensary.

“Never did I imagine how challenging opening and operating a dispensary would be,” Wei admits. “The biggest challenges were learning something completely new. We had to use our own individual skill sets to really make this happen, but the hardest part was recognizing what I didn’t know. I didn’t realize how much learning there would be to understand my business’ needs and what functionality I needed out of my tech stack.”

While acknowledging these challenges, they face them in stride, with little impact on their determination to make Lenox Hill Cannabis Co. a success story. Confident they have turned to the right technology partners to power their vision, they’re fully prepared to take on the growing pains of evolving regulations and delayed traceability automation to be among the first wave of New York cannabis retailers. After a month of operating, Wei says: “We’re so fortunate that our software providers knew exactly what we needed before we did, and I trusted them to meet our dispensary’s needs, from automating our weekly Excel spreadsheet compliance requirements, to generating models on our inventory / reordering demands. Given the compressed launch timeline, we were forced to take leaps of faith in Cova, and they continually delivered.”


Lenox Hill Cannabis Co. celebrated their grand opening on January 8th, as New York State’s 47th licensed Adult-Use dispensary (and Manhattan’s tenth) and launched delivery service on February 5th. You can visit their dispensary at 334 E. 73rd St, or find them online at lenoxhillcannabis.com.

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