• Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

New York Update: Tons Of Cannabis Ready For Retail Stores, Producers Hoping It Won’t Rot While Delays Linger

ByJoana Scopel

Nov 18, 2022
New York Update: Tons Of Cannabis Ready For Retail Stores, Producers Hoping It Won't Rot While Delays Linger

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From Growers To Dispensaries, Delays Affect The Entire Supply Chain:

Thousands of pounds of weed, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, are ready to sell at dispensaries after the state began issuing cultivation licenses to more than 200 farms last spring. However, instead of being shipped to retail stores, the weed is simply hoarded.

Although state regulators had planned for cannabis retail stores to open by the end of 2022, the gray market is up and running, while legal dispensaries have yet to open in New York.

If farmers don’t get their crops into stores soon, their nearly billion-dollar revenue will eventually start to rot.

In the meantime, farmers must figure out how to store it indefinitely, making sure the cannabis remains as fresh as possible while also keeping it safe from theft or possible contamination, reported Bloomberg.

“It’s an unclear path to market. We’ve been told again and again that dispensaries will open before the end of the year. I’ve acted as though that’s our single source of proof, so we’re prepared for that,” said Melany Dobson, chief executive officer of Hudson Cannabis, a 520-acre farm about two hours north of New York City. “We’re not packaging or processing flower yet,” Melany added, referring to the raw portion of the plant that can be wielded into products, like dried, smokable cannabis. “We’re trying to retain as much quality as possible. And rushing it into the finished product bags is not the way to do that.”

Building Facilities To Sell Cannabis While Raids Take Place

On Friday, New York officials announced they have selected 10 teams of companies to build around 150 turnkey facilities for social equity cannabis retailers to operate once the marketplace officially launches.

The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) said in a notice that agencies have collaborated to approve 10 teams of companies that will design and build the first recreational cannabis dispensaries to be opened in New York.

“The firms were selected to develop approximately 150 turn-key sites across New York State for entrepreneurs who have received a Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary License (CAURD) through the New York State Office of Cannabis Management,” according to the notice.

Likewise, the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) is expected to approve initial social equity retailer licenses while separately advancing new regulations for the market on November 21.

New York’s Social Equity Servicing Corporation (SESC) is “currently working” on finding sites where the initial dispensaries will be located, with funding from the $200 million Social Equity Cannabis Fund that Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) authorized, reported Marijuana Moment.

However, a federal judge recently issued an order that would temporarily block regulators from approving Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses affecting cannabis dispensaries located in Brooklyn, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson, and Western New York.

Meanwhile, the NYC Sheriff’s office, the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), and the NYPD arrested at least one individual accused of operating an illegal cannabis and tobacco shop called Big Chief, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Apparently, the Big Chief ‘weed’ store is accused of selling illegal marijuana and tobacco products.

However, OCM Chief Equity Officer Damian Fagon said that gray market sellers had a fair warning that their actions will exclude them from future license opportunities. “Unfortunately, it’s very shortsighted,” Fagon said of gray market operations like Big Chief.

Now that recreational cannabis is legal, and sales won’t launch until later in the year, what happened with Mayor Eric Adams’s promise not to take a “heavy-handed” approach toward those illicitly selling marijuana in the city?

Cannabis Legal Business Needs An Answer

“It’s unfair competition,” said Yuri Krupitsky, who is waiting to find out whether he’ll get to open one of the first legal recreational marijuana shops in the state. “Everyone’s just saying, ‘Sit around and wait,’ and in the meantime, I see shop after shop, and they’re making their money. I’m sitting around waiting to do it the right way,” added Krupitsky, who also settled a lengthy application to become one of 900 applicants for the first round of 150 licenses, only to face new uncertainty over last week’s court ruling.

“There cannot be a legal, regulated market operating side-by-side with an illegal market — it undercuts the goals of the state’s Cannabis Law to protect public health and build an equitable market that works to undo the harms caused by the disproportionate enforcement of cannabis prohibition,” Office of Cannabis Management spokesperson Aaron Ghitelman said in a statement.

It should be remembered that according to Governor Kathy Hochul‘s fiscal year 2023 executive budget, the state hopes to rival top earners on time, generating $1.25 billion in revenue during the first six years of operations.

Get your daily dose of cannabis news on Benzinga Cannabis. Don’t miss out on any important developments in the industry.

Photo: Courtesy Of Ferdinand Stöhr On Unsplash



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Image and article originally from www.benzinga.com. Read the original article here.