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The Legacy Market Is Thriving in New York While Legislators Regulate Farmers Markets to Save Oversupply

Ashley Priest

by Ashley Priest

June 27, 2023 12:00 pm ET Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
The Legacy Market Is Thriving in New York While Legislators Regulate Farmers Markets to Save Oversupply

The pilot program for the New York cannabis farmers market is coming closer to being a reality. CAURD (Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries) dispensaries are slow to open across the state of New York, causing a backup in the cannabis supply chain. This has led cultivators to store the fruits of their labor—in this case, weed. Cannabis has a cure time, but the longer it sits (unless in ideal conditions), the more it begins to decrease in quality.

Retail cannabis was legalized in 2021. As of late 2022, growers were starting to worry about the quality of their weed going up in smoke. This was due to a slow rollout of legal cannabis storefronts to work with in New York. While many people are ready and waiting to open a cannabis dispensary in New York, CAURD licensees must open before others enter the legal adult cannabis space.

The New York Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) says:

“CAURD licensees are the first retail dispensaries to open for legal adult-use cannabis sales in New York State, establishing businesses owned by justice-involved individuals at the bedrock of New York’s adult-use cannabis market. CAURD licensees are positioned to make New York’s first legal cannabis sales before the end of 2022, speeding the delivery of investments into communities across New York State that were impacted by the disproportionate enforcement of cannabis prohibition.”

To help growers move some of the abundances of cannabis they are sitting on the OCM came up with the idea of permitting a cannabis farmers market pilot program. Media sources say John Kagia, OCM Director of Policy, was at a meeting with the New York Cannabis Association and said, “The agency will allow conditional cannabis growers and Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries (CAURDs) to team up and sell products at a location other than the retailer’s shop.” Mr. Kagia went on to say, “A minimum of three growers and a retailer can organize events where growers can sell flower and prerolls…and do so through a retailer, but at non-storefront locations.”

What Retail Cannabis in New York Looks Like

Cannabis is sitting around getting old in New York due to a lack of places to sell it. Growers are hurting financially because of this, and the public has very limited access to weed. At least, that’s one version of the story. Another version of it paints a picture of New York being a cannabis oasis. According to an article published by the New York Post, there are an estimated “1,500 or so unlicensed, unregulated, and pretty much illegal weed shops now crowding the five boroughs.”

It seems the state is inundated with illegal cannabis storefronts and that people regularly buy weed from them. Apparently, many folks in NYC have no problem securing the goods, which might seem odd considering the lack of legal places to buy weed from. To put it in retrospect, Mayor Adams was questioned “about outdoor odor complaints being at an all-time high” and replied by saying, “The number one thing I smell right now is pot. It seems like everyone is smoking a joint now, you know. Everybody has a joint.”

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  • Larger purchase limits
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Are growers and retailers hurting because of cannabis sitting around getting old and not enough places to sell it? Or is this weed being sold illegally? Illegal vendors make a lot from pot. According to Bloomberg, “Last year, illegal vendors did about $2 billion in sales statewide—better than Broadway shows.”

Could a Cannabis Farmers Market Help the Legal Cannabis Industry in NY Thrive?

The illicit black market for cannabis across the state of New York is a lucrative one. Where is this cannabis coming from? Is it being illegally trafficked all the way from states like California and Oklahoma, or is it coming from local sources? Are growers in NY fearful of their weed growing old and losing its value, so they’re turning to the black market? Questions we can only ponder as we watch the harm done by federal marijuana prohibition continue.

People are venturing into the legal side of cannabis only to find the lucrative attraction of the black market calling while they wait on wayward politicians to figure out how to make the most profit from statewide legalization. A cannabis farmers market could help, but there seem to be too many moving parts for it to be implemented in time. Everything from the registration process to the approval process and in between is unclear right now.

Unless something gives soon and officials come together to make the cannabis farmers market a reality, the black market will continue to thrive. With an estimated 1,500 plus illegal cannabis storefronts across the state, something needs to be done to protect the business interests of those putting in the work laying the foundation for legal cannabis sales in the state. Right now, it looks more like open season for the criminal element looking to make some good ole tax-free American cash.

Federal Marijuana Prohibition Caused This Conundrum

In 1937 the U.S. federal government signed the MJ Tax Act, which kicked off marijuana prohibition as we know it. This campaign was built on a foundation of racism, greed, and lies. Today, much of our federal government still supports this outdated, archaic policy. These lawmakers have outlived their time in office and need to be replaced. America needs fresh thinkers who act swiftly to enact policies that reflect the will of the people and the will of a nation rather than continuing to support the private agendas of wayward politicians and private special interest groups.

Another election is coming, and the American people are still waiting for the federal government to right a major wrong of the past and end marijuana prohibition once and for all. Be the voice of change and let lawmakers know it’s time to end this debate. Legalize cannabis and move on to more pressing issues like our planet running out of clean water, climate change, and world hunger.

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