New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has unveiled an innovative plan to introduce cannabis farmers’ markets this summer as a way of tackling the supply chain challenges caused by limited retail outlets across the state.
With only 13 operational retailers in New York, cannabis growers have struggled with a surplus of products they had intended to sell to suppliers.
Details Of The Plan
During a meeting with the Cannabis Association of New York, OCM director of policy John Kagia explained the strategy that would enable cannabis growers and retailers to collaborate and sell their products outside of traditional storefronts.
According to Cannabis Insider, the plan allows a minimum of three growers and a retailer to organize events where cannabis flower and pre-rolls can be sold at non-storefront locations. “A minimum of three growers and a retailer can organize events where growers can sell flower and pre-rolls… and do so through a retailer, but at non-storefront locations,” Kagia said.
To foster accessibility, the OCM plans to grant permission for these markets to take place wherever municipal approval can be obtained. The agency wants to avoid setting limits on the number of growers participating in each event, fostering a vibrant and diverse marketplace.
Additionally, OCM chief equity officer Damian Fagon seemed open to considering its permanent implementation, per Times Union.
Positive Reception And Some Concerns
The introduction of cannabis farmers’ markets has received praise from industry experts who cite the success of similar events across the state. “Legacy cannabis farmers’ markets have done extremely well… we know this program model is a successful one,” said Joe Rossi, managing director at Park Strategies and leader of the firm’s Cannabis Practice Group.
However, some stakeholders, such as Coss Marte, founder of CONBODY fitness studio and CONBUD, expressed doubts about the ability of these markets to fully address the financial distress faced by pot farmers due to the overwhelming surplus of stored cannabis.
Urgent measures required: The announcement of cannabis farmers’ markets comes at a critical time for New York’s cannabis cultivators, who are struggling to sell their products and therefore face financial challenges. Urgent measures are needed to support these farmers and ensure the success of the state’s cannabis industry.
“We’re struggling to survive, to pay our bills… As of today, May 25, 2023, we still don’t have a place to sell the product that we spent so much time and care to produce… unfortunately, I’m not alone,” said Kerry Trammel, secretary of the CANY Cultivation Committee.
Gov. Kathy Hochul also expressed frustration with the slow rollout of the cannabis program and efforts that are underway to crack down on illicit pot shops. In this context, Acreage Holdings Inc. ACRDF ACRHF ACRG has highlighted the challenges facing New York’s cannabis market, emphasizing the need for expanded access to drive the market’s success. Acreage Holdings sees the potential of a $5-$7 billion market in New York.
As New York strives to establish a functional retail cannabis market, the introduction of cannabis farmers’ markets offers a potential solution to the supply chain gridlock. However, further measures are essential to deal with the financial distress faced by growers to ensure the long-term success of the state’s cannabis industry.
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Image by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash
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