More Frustrations on Cannabis

In a prerecorded video set to be played at an upcoming event on combating monopolization in the cannabis industry, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) said that the existing state-by-state regulatory framework “creates confusion and barriers that big business exploits to make big bucks at the expense of communities already decimated by the war on drugs.” I read this on Marijuana Moment.

This is precisely what is happening. The biggest exploiters are the banks and any company providing a service for the business. Can you imagine running a business wondering if every time you enter all your financial information into Quickbooks that you fear being shut down? Can you imagine paying hefty monthly fees to have a bank account? I could go on and on and on, but what is the point?

As NY State attempts to do the right thing by awarding those hurt by the absurd war on drugs, the Federal Government is making it impossible to run a profitable business. NY State has begun to close down the illegal dispensaries but shutting seven and having the press highlight it is far from success. Did the media return the next day to see if those businesses were running again? I bet they were.

Why isn’t someone getting to the root of the real problem? Who is funding these illegal dispensaries?

I applaud NY State for trying to do the right thing, but the cost is killing these potential illegal dispensaries before they open. It is apparent because they are not opening. For people who want to apply and get in the game, such as myself, the state expects us to give 51% of the business to a partner that has been formerly incarcerated. How many of us would do that? Raise your hand. I did and was happy to do it with Strive, an organization we laud daily, but I can’t afford to do that two more times. I want to see profits go to our team too. At twenty percent, I’d do it all day, every day, but 51%?

Those awarded licenses, because they have been previously incarcerated are not opening because they do not have the capital to do it. I have heard rumblings of one CAURD operation, and remember, only seven legal dispensaries in NYC right now might close shop. That speaks volumes.

We are doing everything the state asks from us, including massive security, prompt reporting, paying taxes, and everything in between. Yet, here we are, doing the right thing and competing against 2000-plus illegal stores. Every person I speak to in the cannabis space brings up what a disaster NY is. Missouri opened up to legal cannabis in January and has already done half a billion in sales, and those taxes are enormous for the state. Doesn’t that speak volumes? Is anyone listening?