Talk Is Cheap
In New State, in April 2022, the first round of farmers were awarded licenses to grow cannabis. Those farms are to grow cannabis for the dispensaries that would be opening for the products that were being grown. Then, starting in November 2022, the first set of dispensary licenses were awarded. Currently, there are over 463 dispensary licenses have been awarded, and only 22 have opened.
Yet, the illegal market has grown exponentially. The state and the city talk the talk, but their record proves grim. When Hochul talks at a press conference about how they closed an illegal dispensary in upstate NY, the only people who truly care are the consumers because they now have nowhere to go. One dispensary upstate will not make or break the farmers who are bearing the brunt of the lack of legally open dispensaries. Guarantee the illegal upstate dispensary reopened the next day.
The city has one attempt to take Empire down, and the entire legal community cheered. They were up and doing business again that afternoon, and nothing has happened since. It is truly mind-boggling how inept our Government officials have been.
To help the farmers with their abundance of products sitting in their silos, The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has allowed dispensaries to partner with three farmers or more to open up a “growers showcase”. The good news is this might help the countless farmers who will probably pull the plug on growing cannabis as they are losing money. The bad news is this is an absolutely ridiculous bandaid sending all licensed dispensaries to create fire drills for them to make money and stay in business, too. The real estate market is not interested in renting to cannabis dispensaries, yet they seem to have no problem renting to illegal ones. Why?
People from OCM are starting to jump shit. Not shocking. A judge has slapped OCM so hard that they are now having to relook at every dispensary that has been awarded a license, although I do believe the ones that are open will get a pass.
The illegal stores are not selling NY homegrown products. What has happened is a massive shit show. It is killing the farmers and the dispensaries, and NY State is not making money either. It is an embarrassment to the state and city.
Getting this market open effectively was a lay-up. We did not have to look much further than other states that seem more capable than NY. I am sick of talking to politicians and people about this. Talk is cheap. I am confident that I can speak for everyone in the cannabis industry as we pull our hair out, scream, yell, and are at a loss that we are desperately looking for leadership. Can someone in the state who has been elected into office to serve the people of this state please rise to the occasion? Cannabis will eventually be a major economic factor for the state, and the lack of execution is beyond anything I have ever witnessed.