Gotham has now been open for almost four months. This business has multiple parts, including events and delivery(coming soon ). Still, those are part of the three sections of Gotham: Gotham CAURD(cannabis dispensary), Gotham Merch (the cool merch in the store ), and Gotham Goods (the CBD/CPG piece of the puzzle).
Perhaps because it is our capital funding this business, I have built the moving parts more organic than I would have if I were venture-funded, although that is up for discussion.
On top of trying to get three businesses to profitability, and the desire to get two more dispensary licenses (supposedly on 10/4, we can apply), and hit the thoughtful gas on delivery and build out Gotham Goods to be a beloved brand, along comes the Growers Markets.
Because NY State has issued 463 licenses, but only twenty-two stores have opened, and the lawsuits are holding CAURD growth back, the farmers have been screwed. They all grew with the expectation that there would be hundreds of dispensaries to distribute their wares. That is not what has happened. We all fear how many farmers will walk away from the business because they can not make ends meet or have deep enough pockets to get them over this hurdle.
The OCM (Office of Cannabis Management) decided to allow Growers Markets. A Growers Market allows a dispensary, such as Gotham, to partner with no less than three farmers to create a pop-up store/location until the end of December. It sounds great on paper, but the execution is hardly easy, which is why we have seen very few of these markets.
Gotham is working on a handful right now. We will have one in two weeks in Hudson, NY, at 21 North 6th Street, in a beautiful old church across from the farmers market. We will be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We are also working on one at Oculus, in the store Canvas. There is a possibility of three others I will undoubtedly write about when they are about to be open.
The amount of effort that is needed to get all of this up and running with the added caveat of helping our farmers out with Growers Markets (and us, considering there are still thousands of illegal dispensaries that we have to compete against in NYC) is wild especially since we are not tossing capital into the wind.
I am just sharing the insanity of the cannabis space. This week, fingers crossed, the Senate will vote on the Safe Banking Act. If this passes, and the word is that it will, this will hopefully be game-changing for all those in the cannabis space. I am sure we in the industry are waiting with bated breath.