Josh “Mirk” Mirsky – An Xperience Interview

Written by on January 6, 2024

Josh “Mirk” Mirsky – An Xperience Interview, by Rob Smittix.

RRX: I just wanted to talk to you, because first of all… I’m excited that a friend of mine, a fellow person in the music scene is now, running a freaking dispensary. How the hell did that come about?

JM: Long story short. My partners and I have gotten into a little bit of trouble with the law regarding cannabis back in 2011. When they decided to open the first round of licensing up through social justice licenses, we decided to apply because we fit the description. We all had a prior conviction without guns or violence associated with it. We already had functioning, successful businesses that we were all each currently running independently. We’re 50% minority and 50% women owned. So we checked off a lot of boxes that they were looking for in terms of getting the right people into these licenses. So we got it in the first round and then it was off to the races

RRX: That’s like the one thing I agree with that the government actually did, was this program for people that had convictions before, obviously with marijuana. That was the coolest thing they’ve ever done. I don’t know anything the government has done that was as cool.

JM:  Yeah, It’s really been a struggle for everyone to get open, right? They gave out 36 and then they gave out another 90 something and then there was a flood and we had 400 card licenses out. Then there was an injunction that held anybody up getting open. I really had to get to open quickly in order to be in the position we’re in, that’s what it took. We had to dig in and learn about everything that we had to do to get to open. We gotta do. With no hesitation, we ran full speed ahead and found a building. We got everything we needed to get because there were no promises in the licensing. A lot of people went out and they got buildings and now they’re applying. We weren’t in a position to do that, you know?

RRX: I just think it’s the coolest thing and, you know what? Honestly, I didn’t pay much attention to the laws and where we were at with everything in New York because I’ve just been getting weed from the guy that I’ve always gotten it from. Where are we actually at with the law now? Can I just walk into your place and buy some stuff or do we still need a medical card?

JM: No, you don’t need a card. It’s fully recreational. You just walk right in and we have a staff of budtenders that are there to make sure we provide you with the right product that you’re looking for. That’s the difference between us and the weed guy down the block. Don’t get me wrong… I was the weed guy down the block. We’ve shopped like that for decades. In our shop, New York state requires everything to be fully lab tested and then you have all these processors that have fully compliant facilities that get inspected regularly for cleanliness. They have to meet these real rigorous kind of guidelines. So when you’re getting your edibles, you know that you’re getting the right dosage.

Every piece has to be tested within a certain margin of error, every gummy, every vape. So you’re getting a really high quality product and it’s all still grown in New York too. You’re not getting stuff shipped here from California, Oklahoma or wherever else weed is getting shipped in from these days. You have, New York farmers who are local and most of them are living in this region. That’s one of the things that’s really has been helpful for us being in the Capital Region… the proximity to the farmers and the processors. We’re an hour and a half away from all of them.

They come here, meet with me and we’ve been developing these relationships with them since we got the license.

RRX: That’s pretty cool. It’s funny because I was just doing some radio with our DJ, Vito, he said he was just at your place yesterday getting some gummies.

JM: That’s amazing. Surprisingly or not surprisingly, we’ve had about 17 or 18 thousand local people come into the store already and they’re returning.

A lot of people were shopping in Massachusetts before, which again, I applaud them for getting to legalization before we did. They were getting millions of dollars of business from New Yorkers but it becomes illegal as soon as you traffic it across state lines. Now you don’t have to do that. Now you can just come right into the shop, here in New York.

RRX: I support that. My guitarist was always going over to Massachusetts all of the time. I’m like what the hell are you doing? This was before you were open though, he’s probably going to your shop now. But I was like, you know, the guy down the street sells weed. Save your gas money. I never understood it.

Now, when we were on a tour and going through Massachusetts, we stopped at every dispensary. It really matters what you get because right before we were gonna play in Connecticut, we smoked the wrong batch and we were tired.

JM: Yeah. Definitely. There’s a bunch of things. Oh man, if I could tell you everything I learned since we opened the store about weed. I thought there was Indica, sativa and hybrids, right? But there’s minor cannabinoids, all the different terpenes and depending on the percentage can have different effects. The entourage effect, they all work together to create it.

Everyone consumes cannabis differently. Sometimes an indica might hype one person up but in general, it’ll put you on the couch, right? And sativa gets you focused for the day and working but for some people sativa makes them super anxious and they do not have a very functional day. So you have to make sure you get the customer into the right product, no matter what. That’s part of what our budtender education is all about.

We have our vendors come in, do trainings in the back and talk about their products. We’re actually gonna start bringing vendors in to the store to talk to customers as well, so that we can really get the education to the people. It’s really important to understand the reason why you shop at a dispensary and the experience that cannabis can give you if you shop properly. You know?

RRX: And it’s safer. I personally know some people that are not from Albany and they drive to Second Street to get weed. That is extremely dangerous for out-of-towners that do not understand the street politics around here. The deals they get are incredible but why not spend a little bit more to be safe? And to also know what you’re getting?

JM: Exactly. It’s true. You do not know what you’re getting. Rest assured that when you come into our store that no matter what, it’s safe to consume. Delivery Available 810 Broadway, Unit C Rensselaer, NY 12144


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