Know Your Local Pot Dealers

By Dale Kaplan
Designed by Alex Hochberg

Omari, Lee,  a native New Yorker was born in Queens.

He studied for a semester at the University of South Carolina, however, when the expenses of attending college became prohibitive he returned to New York.  “In the Big Apple you can always make money, even panhandlers make $20.0.0 an hour,” laughed the CEO of NY Cannameds who runs his business out of 68 Jay Street.

Lee landed a position as a maintenance supervisor at the men’s’ shelter in the armory in Bedford  Stuyvesant, Brooklyn but soon decided to take a course in medical marijuana certification. He enjoyed the course, however, he neglected to read the fine print upon registration. “ I was so excited to be taking a step forward into doing something I believed in that I got a little carried away.” Once he completed his studies he learned that one needed a medical degree or credentials as a nurse practitioner to legally prescribe medical cannabis in New York state.  

Through a fortuitous connection, Omari learned that there was an alternative way to practice his newly acquired skill and develop his own business by partnering with a properly credentialed individual. He could act as the liaison between the health professional and patient by supervising the intake process through video chat or an in-person evaluation. The doctor or nurse practitioner would then decide whether or not certification was warranted.

This connection had been running multiple clinics but could no longer handle the caseload and expenses of two facilities. He turned the key and ownership of his Brownsville, Brooklyn location over to Omari.

“I soon discovered that this individual was not running an honest operation. He was charging clients from $350-$ 400.00 for medical marijuana certification which was completely inflated.  These were poor people who were desperate for services.  I  immediately reduced the rate to $150.00 per patient” explains the CEO.

The bulk of his clientele ranged from stressed-out New York City school teachers to residents of high crime communities experiencing excessive gun violence.  Lee also assisted clients who were suffering from a variety of illnesses from diabetes to chronic pain. Severe anxiety and depression rank very high among this particular demographic.

“The main streets of Brownsville including Pitkin and Rockaway Avenues are overwhelmed with pain management and methadone clinics. Less than upstanding individuals run these facilities and systemically hire newly arrived foreign doctors to see patients and prescribe all types of pain medications including opioids. I wanted to offer the people of Brownsville a healthier, natural, non-addictive alternative to help them manage both their physical and mental health challenges.

After spending a year in Brownsville, and developing a solid client base, Cannameds experienced a steep rent raise and Lee decided to move to Dumbo.

He initially landed a small office in Greendesk and coincidentally his next-door neighbor was also in the pot business but in the more traditional cookware category.  Designed and manufactured from copper, you can find Mac at

“Dumbo has been good to me” states the C.E.O. of NY Cannameds. To date, we have helped over 600 people receive medical marijuana certification.

Constantly on the move, visiting hemp farms in Colorado, California, and upstate New York, Omari has expanded his business model by putting together a finely curated product line of CBD products for both humans and their canine companions. Balms and tinctures can be found on his website CBD in the smoking form is also available. “People are very stressed as a result of the pandemic and CBD is a gentle and non-addictive way of relieving anxiety and depression.

When asked what he likes about Dumbo, his answer is virtually everything.” Dumbo is an amazing community” states the CEO. “Everyone here looks out for each other, it’s like family.
The other day I forgot my wallet at home, and I wasn’t even nervous. It’s a great feeling to know that I could go into Wholesome Farms Market, Superfine, Forager’s, or Thai Sidewalk and they would trust me to come back tomorrow or even the next day for payment.   It is an eclectic mix of kind and generous people with incredibly diverse skills.

Omari asked us to give a shout out to Jessie Polshak, architect and Jon Goldstein, owner of Vinegar Hill Studios. “Thanks to these new friends I have a beautiful office, I am settled and consider myself very lucky to have landed in 68 Jay.”

Field Company

When the Mascarella brothers, Steve and Chris were cooking Thanksgiving dinner at their grandmother’s house, they remarked that grandma’s cast iron skillet was one exemplary pan. Awed by the smooth cooking surface and weight, which was much lighter than the ones they used at home, the idea to replicate the skillet was ignited, and Field Company was born.

 Vintage skillets from the last two centuries have been a popular trend with collectors,  The original companies that manufactured cast iron cookware either consolidated or fled overseas, and the original manufacturing process dissipated. Luckily pan rehabilitators can restore vintage skillets to their former glory.

After the expected trials and, tribulations of developing a product, the prototype skillets were successfully designed, cast, machined, and seasoned in the USA.

The brothers set up a Kickstarter campaign and raised over one million dollars in pre-sales.  After meeting their production goal of 6-12 months the Field Company has now achieved status as a steady on-line business based in Dumbo and Kingston, N.Y.

Their skillets run from $75.00 to $160.00.  See their listing in Dumbo Direct to learn more about their company.  You can view their website at Happy cooking!

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