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Angelo Kitkas Opens the First Legal, Licensed Cannabis Dispensary on the Upper West Side  

NEW YORK – Thessaloniki native Angelo Kitkas moved at the age of eight with his parents to the United States. An electrician by trade, Kitkas recently opened Flower Power, a new, legal, licensed cannabis dispensary at 22 West 66th Street on Manhattan’s Upper West Side- the first dispensary to open in the neighborhood best known for Lincoln Center and its proximity to Central Park. He received his license under New York’s Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) program, which prioritizes licensing for entrepreneurs who have been adversely affected by decades of cannabis prohibition such as those who were incarcerated for minor cannabis offenses like Kitkas who served seven months in 2004. In 2023, he was among the “justice-involved” individuals to receive a license for a legal dispensary.

Flower Power is “New York City’s curator of the best, top-quality legal, tested cannabis products for everyone over 21,” as noted on the dispensary’s website which adds that “four percent of tax revenue goes right back into supporting the local neighborhood.”

Kitkas spoke with The National Herald about opening Flower Power and about his Greek heritage.

TNH: Where in Greece is your family originally from?

Angelo Kitkas: I was born in Thessaloniki and moved to America when I was a young kid. I was raised in Astoria, so I never got too far away from Greek culture and community.

TNH: How has your Greek heritage influenced your life and work?

AK: My Greek heritage and my Greek values are at the core of everything I pursue. Loyalty, education, elegance, and most of all, hospitality, have been drilled into me from a young age. Whether it is my family and my home or my business and my customers, I try to keep these all very central to what I do. I also really love when tourists from Greece come into my store or when a Greek customer comes to introduce themself. That support means the world to me.

TNH: What made you decide to open Flower Power on the Upper West Side?

AK: It is a fantastic location between Central Park and Lincoln Center, and I found the right partners. Plus the neighborhood loves small family-owned businesses, has a bunch of tourists, and a really nice regular clientele mix of local residents and people who work at ABC, Lincoln Center, the park, and Time Warner Center.

TNH: Where do you see the business heading in the future?

AK: We will start delivering soon and grow deeper into the local community. That includes supporting local events, charities, and entering strategic partnerships. I am excited to tap into the buzz around all the great events in the summer between Lincoln Center and Central Park and in the fall with the New York City Marathon and Thanksgiving Parade right just down the street. We also continue to focus on our processes in our effort to become the best dispensary from a menu selection and customer experience standpoint. Visit flowerpowerdispensers.com or come by the store on 66th Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West.

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