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New York's slow cannabis rollout gets more criticism

Oct 12, 2023 12:43 pm

Michael Hill reports for ABC News that two and a half years after legalization, and more than nine months after sales started, only about two dozen state-sanctioned cannabis dispensaries are open for business. At the same time, many illegal sellers have opened retail cannabis stores without a license. Meanwhile, farmers are stuck with a crop that is going bad, and the anticipated revenues for the state and municipalities with stores has not materialized in most places. Now state regulators have opened a 60-day general application window to grow, process, distribute, or sell marijuana, and say they expect to issue more than 1,000 new licenses soon. Reginald Fluellen, senior consultant with the Cannabis Social Equity Coalition, blames the state bureaucracy for a botched rollout. He said, “They’ve failed miserably in providing the justice-involved individuals the kind of head start, the kind of foothold, in the market that they promised." Joseph Calderone of Grateful Valley Farm, near the Pennsylvania border, says New York is favoring giant corporations instead of family farms. He said, “We were given a fair chance to grow. We were asked to do that.... We kept our promise. The state did not keep their promise.” Read more about this story at ABC News.

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