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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

$750 Million Worth of Weed and Nowhere to Sell, NY Cannabis Farmers in a Bind

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Disclaimer: William is a CBD and MMJ enthusiast working with Quick Med Cards. Be that as it may, you stand to gain the latest insights into the cannabis industry.

The launch of the cannabis market in New York should be nearing its conclusion by practically all measures. More than 200 farms received growing permits from the state in the spring, and since then, farmers have planted seeds, cared for rows of plants throughout summer, and have only now finished harvesting. Now that it’s ready to be sold at dispensaries, hundreds of thousands of pounds of marijuana worth hundreds of millions of dollars is available.


The cannabis, however, is merely accumulating rather than being transported to retail establishments. Despite the state regulator’s repeated guarantees that cannabis outlets will be commonplace by the end of this year, not a single legal recreational dispensary has yet opened in New York, despite a thriving gray market already being up and running.

According to the Office of Cannabis Management, the rotting stocks, which are believed to weigh around 300,000 pounds, present a number of issues for producers, not the least of which is that cannabis can degrade with time.

According to Cannabis Benchmarks, a research company that analyzes wholesale marijuana pricing across the country, the stash may be worth as much as $750 million based on an average projected wholesale value of around $2,500 per pound.

Farmers’ almost $1 billion in annual earnings will ultimately start to decline if they don’t get their produce into markets as quickly as possible. Farmers must figure out a way to preserve the cannabis as fresh as possible while still safeguarding it from theft and possible contamination in the meantime.

Although those who applied for one of the initial 150 individual retail licenses and 25 nonprofit licenses anticipate hearing from the state soon, getting the go-ahead from the OCM is just the start of a protracted process that involves creating a shop.

Melany Dobson, chief executive officer of Hudson Cannabis, said:

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.

The OCM, which manages cannabis licenses from its base in Albany, has set high standards for its initial crop of retail business owners and burdened itself with a mountain of paperwork to sort through.

In recent years, an oversupply of CBD products made from hemp led to a statewide decline in wholesale pricing, which forced several producers into financial ruin or bankruptcy. Legal THC sales appeared to provide these growers a potential means of recovering their losses: According to a statement from the mayor’s office in August, the adult-use cannabis industry is anticipated to generate $1.3 billion in sales in New York City alone by the following year.

Farmers are stuck until such stores open. Because it is illegal to sell marijuana over state boundaries, farmers are unable to sell their products to dispensaries in Massachusetts, New Jersey, or other states with established retail markets. New York is the only option.

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