N.Y.’s first cannabis ‘showcase’ market will open Thursday
Aneesh Nair | Published August 10, 2023 03:31:02 AM | Industry

N.Y.’s first cannabis ‘showcase’ market will open Thursday

ALBANY — The state’s first “Cannabis Growers Showcase” — which is similar to a farmer’s market — is scheduled to open Thursday in a New Paltz municipal parking lot.

The event, which will run from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, and 1 to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, will feature sales of marijuana flower and pre-rolled cigarettes. The parking lot is at 25 Plattekill Ave.

Officials with the state Office of Cannabis Management said the showcase event will operate weekly at that location for the rest of the year or until the first retail marijuana store opens in New Paltz.

The Cannabis Control Board voted last month to temporarily allow marijuana industry stakeholders to sell stockpiled crops at venues such as fairs, festivals, concerts and community events. The rules allow organizers to also invite licensed processors, who would be able to sell other items that include vape cartridges, edibles, drink products and topical ointments.

The emergency measure was intended, in part, to provide financial relief to the cultivators, processors and retail license holders who have been stung by the state’s slow rollout of marijuana legalization.

The Ulster County showcase is being organized by High Falls Canna, a family-owned marijuana cultivation company in the Hudson Valley.

Rick Weissman, the company's founder and president, said his company has been able to distribute product to a handful of retail stores but that they still have "quite a bit to sell" and thousands more plants in the ground this year.

"We’re participating because we want the ability to sell our product that we grew last year," Weissman said, adding the showcase event will include products from four farms and a processor.

Weissman, who has experience working on Wall Street, said the process for getting approval for the showcase event was detailed and cumbersome.

"It's the type of thing where someone would hire a lawyer and pay them 10 grand to walk through," he said. "I basically pushed through it."

Weissman said the outreach to other farmers through their nascent industry groups was helpful in getting other participants. He credited the Cannabis Farmers Alliance and Cannabis Association of New York, in particular.

Officials with the state Office of Cannabis Management said New York will be the first state to allow cannabis sales at this type of public event.

Local growers Oak Queen Farms and Empire Farm 1830 also will be at the New Paltz event, along with Legacy Dispensers, a cannabis dispensary specializing in Capital Region deliveries.

Proponents of the showcase event sales have noted that they would allow business networking to begin between the farmers, processors and retail license holders who have been unable to make sales due to the delays in setting up retail stores. New York has opened 21 retail dispensaries, far short of the hundreds that state officials had hoped would be in operation by this summer.

The retail rollout has also suffered setbacks by the proliferation of illicit marijuana shops that have exploded across the state.

The Times Union reported in May that dozens of farmers who received conditional licenses to cultivate the first crops for New York’s retail marijuana market have been unable to sell thousands of pounds of product they grew last year because of the languishing set up the industry. Retail license holders who have been unable to open stores due to bureaucratic blockades also have been impacted by the delays, including many who invested in up-front costs to buy or convert properties for use as a cannabis store.

The state’s efforts to accelerate the pace of the retail marketplace follow new regulations intended to strengthen enforcement efforts against the thousands of unlicensed shops that have competed with law-abiding sellers. The rules empowered the Office of Cannabis Management to work with police agencies to seize illegal product, issue fines or close shops that are not in compliance.

Courtesy : https://www.timesunion.com/

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