In today’s “In the News” New York takes center stage with cannabis topics ranging from delaying plans to offer cannabis farmers markets this summer and approving cannabis pop-up stores to establishing THC limits on hemp-derived cannabis products. Read the stories below!
New York had planned to open some cannabis farmers markets this summer to help rile up some disappointing sales numbers, but now has to put the markets on hold. Originally the farmers markets were planned to begin in the early summer, however that did not happen (1).
The markets were being orchestrated under the state’s Office of Cannabis Management but have since stalled on those plans. Aaron Ghitelman, spokesperson for the Office of Cannabis Management told Syracuse NPR station WAER that (1), “no final decisions have been made with respect to farmers markets.”
If the proposal moves forward, it would allow up to three growers to form a partnership with a retailer to sell their cannabis products at non-storefront locations. The hope was to grow and be near retail outlets.
Almost half of the state’s 1,520 municipalities have opted out of adult-use retail according to the Rockefeller Institute of Government (1).
New York began offering recreational sales throughout the state in late December 2022. Many are still hopeful that farmer’s markets will be able to be organized.
New York cannabis regulators will begin limiting how much tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can be included in products that may contain intoxicating hemp-derived cannabinoids (2). They will also enforce a new minimum ratio of THC and cannabidiol (CBD).
The new regulations have been sent to the Department of State and may be enacted into law within 60 days. Edible products would then be required to have a 15-to-1 ratio of CBD to THC. These items would also be confined to having no more than 10 mg of THC per package and 1 mg per serving. Another regulation being imposed is that retailers would be prohibited from selling products containing more than 0.5 mg of THC to individuals under 21 years old.
The Big Apple is the most recent state within the US to impose regulations trying to rein in the unregulated market of hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as the popular cannabinoid CBD and cannabinoids like delta-8 and delta-9 THC which can cause intoxicating effects (2). Synthetic cannabinoids have already been outlawed but have still found it difficult to enforce.
To help garner up sales in their state, the New York Office of Cannabis Management created the “Grower’s Showcase,” which will help cannabis farmers who have faced difficulties from the uneven ratio of cultivation licenses to retail locations (3). There have been concerns over equitable opportunities in the cannabis industry. With the Grower’s Showcase, both farmers and cannabis supporters in the state are eager to see how this develops.
John Kagia of the Office of Cannabis Management made an announcement on the Grower’s Showcase in a post on LinkedIn (3,4) that stated: “The Cannabis Growers Showcase initiative, a program that allows cultivators to partner with retailers to present and sell their products at non-storefront locations, including on licensed cannabis farms and at events approved by the Office. The CGS initiative will be critical to unlocking the backlog of inventory held by our producers while giving consumers across the state, especially those in areas that do not yet have stores, access to our legal products.”
Recently released data (3) detailed that the New York State Cannabis Control Board is working on opening 212 retail licenses, but this is still not enough to help meet demand and aid the large amount of licensed cultivators.
The New York Office of Cannabis hopes that through allowing cannabis farmers to host pop-up stalls, it’ll help both small and independent farmers by giving them an opportunity to highlight their products to the public. It’ll allow cultivators to be able to engage with consumers, help build their brand awareness, and form loyalties and bonds within the industry.
Cannabis pop-up events will need to be approved by the Office of Cannabis Management. Through these events, the hope is that they will flourish and help the landscape of the constantly changing cannabis industry.