Happy Holidays, everyone. I hope everyone is having a very jolly weekend, while enjoying and gifting plenty of merry marijuana.
Amid the holiday planning and festivities, NY Cannabis Insider covered some important stories on New York’s weed industry last week. Let’s take a look at what we covered.
Reporter Mel Hyman contributed a story that provides an update of where Cannabis Growers Showcase events stand. Regulators had previously said the events will end in 2024, but NYS Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Binghamton) told NY Cannabis Insider that, after speaking with the Office of Cannabis Management this week, she’s been told that the showcases will be allowed to continue as special events under new rules and regulations.
“My understanding is that the OCM wants to transform the Growers Showcases into something that would require a special event permit,” Lupardo told Hyman. “Even though new stores are opening, there remain cannabis deserts in parts of the state … we are urging the OCM to expedite the rules needed to allow these new permits to be issued soon.”
We ran a story about the ambivalence some licensed growers in New York are feeling toward large medical cannabis Registered Organizations entering the state’s retail market. On one hand, some local growers and processors feel distrust toward some of these companies; on the other hand, the ROs could become important partners.
Since before a single legal New York dispensary opened its doors, local growers holding Adult-Use Conditional Cultivator (AUCC) licenses have worried over these large vertically integrated businesses competing with their smaller, less established companies. But as this reality is coming to fruition faster than most expected, some cultivators see lucrative partnership opportunities alongside increased competitive pressures.
The co-founder and CEO of LakeHouse Cannabis, Paul Suits, Jr., contributed a guest column, in the form of an open letter to New York cannabis regulators, in which he expresses concern for non-social equity applicants seeking licenses.
“We understand that providing the first retail dispensary licenses in New York State to justice-involved New Yorkers is part of the OCM’s goal towards equity in the New York State cannabis market,” Suits wrote. “Simply put, we are growing fearful that those that are not social equity applicants will not get a license before all of the retail dispensary licenses are entirely issued.”
We ran a story that provides expert advice for people entering New York’s legal cannabis retail sector courtesy of David Vautrin, operating partner at Union Square Travel Agency in Manhattan – among New York’s first legal adult-use dispensaries.
With USTA nearing its first anniversary, Vautrin – who served as a multidisciplinary consumer product goods leader in a variety of industries before joining the cannabis sector – has put together a guide for how to plan and stand up a successful dispensary.
Have a great holiday, everyone, we’ll be back with plenty more in the new year!