Premium cannabis, designer clothes, and NFTs—not the belongings of a well-off Manhattanite, but rather the goods on display at Gotham, one of New York City’s budding dispensaries.

In collaboration with Bright Moments, the NFT art gallery with a presence that spans from Venice Beach to Tokyo, Gotham hosted a live minting on Tuesday. Attendees could claim digital art and peruse the store’s panoply of high-end goods.

The event showcased generative art from Jimena Buena Vida, Bright Moments’ current artist-in-residence. Pieces from her Ethereum project “Epiphanies” were displayed across several screens on a mezzanine toward the back of Gotham’s store, which is billed as NYC's first "luxury" cannabis dispensary.


While cannabis and NFTs may sound like an abstruse combo, Gotham’s Chief Creative Officer Billy Richards told Decrypt that the firm’s link with Bright Moments is fairly straightforward and rooted in community.

“We align with the idea of bringing different experiences, art forms, and people together,” he said. “Both our teams are constantly on the forefront of new ideas and ways to engage our consumers.”

Gotham is among a handful of licensed cannabis dispensaries in the Big Apple, yet it also offers lifestyle products in areas like beauty and fashion. Beyond showcasing NFTs, the location uses its mezzanine space for hosting other events, including a karaoke night and a party celebrating LGBTQ pride, a spokesperson said.

The mezzanine at Gotham displaying NFTs was cloaked in blue light. Bright Moments' showcase at Gotham. Photo: Decrypt/André Beganski
The mezzanine at Gotham displaying NFTs was cloaked in blue light. Photo: Decrypt/André Beganski

As profile picture (PFP) projects like the Bored Ape Yacht Club face headwinds, some may wonder whether the NFT market has gone up in smoke. Less than two dozen people attended the event at Gotham on Tuesday, but it drew art enthusiasts like Steven Liriano, who told Decrypt that the lack of foot traffic didn’t bother him.


“People come and go,” he said. “I never judge an event like this by its turnout.”

One attendee, Omkar Lewis, quipped during the gathering that nobody is spending money on NFTs these days because interest rates are high and people have less disposable cash. Still, he saw potent parallels between NFTs and cannabis.

Lewis said he remembers a time when cannabis had negative connotations and was reviled by lawmakers. Noting that regulation has helped cannabis blossom into a multi-billion-dollar industry, he believes that NFTs are in a similar place today.

“They're both on the edge of something that wasn't culturally accepted,” he said. “NFTs are not quite socially acceptable yet, but in 20 years they will be.”

In terms of NFT adoption among legacy art players, preeminent auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s have drawn closer to the technology over time. Both have launched respective NFT marketplaces and facilitated several auctions.

Snoop Dogg, a known cannabis enthusiast, has also been an active force in the NFT space for years. He donned his Bored Ape NFT for a high-profile appearance at the MTV VMAs with Eminem last year, and recently unveiled an NFT pass for his upcoming concert tour. There are even virtual cannabis dispensaries in the metaverse.

Gotham and Bright Moments’ cannabis crossover represented the second time an artist-in-residence at the gallery has displayed work at the dispensary. An artist and software engineer who goes by Ngozi displayed artwork at Gotham last month.


She told Decrypt that her residency with Bright Moments was a formative experience, giving her space and encouragement to hone her craft.

“I had always thought of myself as a hobbyist and not an artist,” Ngozi said. “This residency program was kind of permission to think of myself as such.”

The overlap between generative art and cannabis, in her mind, comes down to how code is approached. She said writing code in a traditional way is very structured and oriented around goals, while generative art benefits from thinking outside the box.

“You take that same tool that we use to think very linearly, and suddenly, the challenge is to apply that to art,” she said. “Cannabis can get you from that very linear way of thinking to a way that’s more meandering.”

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