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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Retail cannabis jobs in New York are gaining to be a slow burn

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When New York legalized cannabis for adults in early 2021, the excitement around the jobs it could create was palpable. But nearly two years later, the industry is still trying to get its footing—and the country is still waiting for an influx of jobs.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul extolled the potential in July 2022 when she announced it $5 million in financing to SUNY and CUNY Community Colleges of New York to provide resources for new and existing cannabis business training accreditation programs.

“New York’s new cannabis industry creates exciting opportunities,” she said at the time, “and we will ensure New Yorkers who want jobs in this growing sector receive the quality training they need to succeed.”

According to the Leafly 2022 jobs report, the state’s medical cannabis market — which the report described as “restrictive” and “underserved” — has the potential to support up to 6,000 jobs by itself, though it only had 2,300 employees in 2021. .

“As New York policymakers move closer to opening the state’s adult-use market in 2023, it’s critically important to recognize that consumers want to buy legal, licensed, lab-tested products. Data from the state’s medical market shows that severely narrowing supply is not reducing demand. Instead, it sends demand into the illicit market, where patients are exposed to inaccurate products, legal risks, and physical danger.

So, with Manhattan’s first retail cannabis dispensary opening on December 29, just in time for the ball to drop in 2023, industry experts and forecasters have cautiously noted developments leading to the long-awaited start of adult cannabis sales in New York state. – A launch plagued with delays and competition from an already massive illegal market.

“The New York market has fallen quickly from a market that everyone seemed so excited about to a market that many no longer want to touch. Illegal businesses are a concern, especially if they carry coveted branded products from the legal market (largely California) at discounted prices. “But the rules and instructions currently stipulated by OCM (New York Office of Cannabis Management) are equal,” said Brian Passman, co-founder of Cannabis Talent Recruitment. Hunter + Esquire.

Passman, a Brooklyn native who recently relocated to Boulder, Colo., said he hopes New York regulators and operators can learn from mistakes made in previous markets, such as California and Oregon, where onerous regulation, tax burden, and competition from illegal vendors cause. It created significant restrictions on the legal cannabis business.

He added, for small cannabis operators fortunate enough to hold one of New York’s Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses, opening the doors of a storefront location will require deep pockets and a careful, long-term strategy.

Passman expects the job opportunities for New York retailers to be metered — not the Green Rush that some had predicted.

“I think there will be some hiring here and there, sure, but it won’t be the enthusiastic wave of hiring that everyone was ramping up to ride all together,” he said.

Part of the challenge is how licenses are issued. New York’s social justice-based process, heralded as “the first of its kind,” proved to be a success The first round of licensing For those affected by the war on drugs, including residents previously convicted of cannabis, in November.

Capital is often a challenge for a member of that group, and landlords are not always willing to lease space to the cannabis industry because it is still federally illegal.

To combat this, the New York State Indoor Housing Authority (DASNY) planned to rent and build sites that could then be subleased to CAURD license recipients. That plan failed to come to fruition in time, and he trampled me changed course in December.

Passman noted that A.J $200 million Promoted to provide resources to the first 150 countries authorized by CAURD has yet to materialize. Without the venture capital and educational resources to get operations off the ground, he said, social justice startups will be hardest hit by the fund’s apparent mismanagement.

The Social Cannabis Investment Fund failed to meet its Sept. 1 deadline to raise $150 million from private investors. As such, Passman said he believes 2023 will be a challenging transition year for New York’s newest consumer market.

“Our cannabis brand and MSO clients have enthusiastically recruited us in 2021 and early 2022 to help them hire more operations and commercial leadership horsepower in New York to establish their presence and expand their operations,” he said. “Most of those people who were hired have since been let go or have seen their role change dramatically due to the current situation there.

“The rules don’t make sense for many operators that are currently well-established or work consistently against their business model, which is an unreasonable amount of risk for high-profile brands seeking to expand nationally,” Passman continued. “We’re seeing news outlets report that many retail license winners don’t have the capital nor the experience to launch anytime soon, so I don’t expect strong demand for retail hires soon.

“There will certainly be some need to hire retail operations personnel, but not at the level most of us expected.

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