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Cannabis on Screen: 10 Movies and TV Shows Set in NYC


New York City, with its iconic skyline and diverse neighborhoods, has served as the backdrop for countless stories on both the big and small screens. As attitudes towards cannabis evolve, filmmakers and showrunners are incorporating the plant into narratives that reflect the city’s dynamic culture. In this blog, we’ll explore 10 movies and TV shows set in NYC where cannabis takes center stage, offering a cinematic journey through the highs and lows of the city that never sleeps.

1. “Half Baked” (1998):

This classic stoner comedy follows the misadventures of four friends as they navigate the world of cannabis in New York City. From their favorite smoke spot to comedic encounters with law enforcement, “Half Baked” provides a humorous take on the cannabis culture in the city.

2. “Broad City” (2014-2019):

This acclaimed TV series follows the lives of two best friends navigating the challenges of adulthood in New York City. With a recurring theme of cannabis consumption, “Broad City” brings a fresh and comedic perspective to the everyday adventures of its quirky protagonists.

3. “How to Make It in America” (2010-2011):

Set against the backdrop of NYC’s downtown scene, this TV series explores the hustle and ambition of young entrepreneurs trying to make it in the fashion industry. Cannabis is seamlessly woven into the characters’ lives, reflecting the city’s diverse subcultures.

4. “Kids” (1995):

A gritty portrayal of urban youth culture in the ’90s, “Kids” is set in the streets of NYC and features cannabis use as one of the many elements in the characters’ experiences. The film is known for its raw and unflinching look at adolescence in the city.

5. “High Maintenance” (2016-2020):

This critically acclaimed HBO series revolves around a nameless cannabis delivery guy navigating the streets of New York City. Each episode introduces viewers to a diverse array of characters whose lives intersect through their shared love for cannabis.

6. “Smash His Camera” (2010):

This documentary delves into the life of celebrity photographer Ron Galella, renowned for his relentless pursuit of capturing candid moments of stars. While cannabis is not the central theme, the film captures the cultural shifts of the ’70s, including changing attitudes towards the plant.

7. “Ganja & Hess” (1973):

A cult classic in the realm of horror, “Ganja & Hess” explores themes of addiction and immortality. Set in a luxurious Manhattan townhouse, the film incorporates elements of vampirism and the supernatural, with cannabis serving as a thematic backdrop.

8. “The Wackness” (2008):

Set in the summer of 1994, “The Wackness” follows a high school graduate navigating love, friendship, and his unusual therapy sessions with a psychiatrist. Cannabis plays a significant role in the coming-of-age narrative against the backdrop of a nostalgic NYC.

9. “Now Apocalypse” (2019):

Although primarily set in Los Angeles, this surreal TV series features episodes set in New York City. With a mix of science fiction and exploration of sexual and cultural identity, “Now Apocalypse” includes cannabis use as part of the characters’ journey.

10. “Inherent Vice” (2014):

While much of this film is set in Los Angeles, “Inherent Vice” features a sequence set in New York City. Adapted from Thomas Pynchon’s novel, the movie explores a complex detective story where cannabis use is intertwined with the counterculture of the 1970s.


From comedies and dramas to documentaries and horror, these movies and TV shows set in New York City offer a diverse array of narratives where cannabis becomes more than just a prop—it becomes a reflection of the city’s multifaceted culture. Whether exploring friendship, ambition, or the supernatural, these cinematic portrayals contribute to the evolving narrative around cannabis in the city that never sleeps.

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