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Lawmakers lament slow legal cannabis rollout

Oct 31, 2023 12:49 am

Kate Lisa reports for New York State of Politics that state lawmakers held a hearinf Oct. 30, wondering why New York's legal cannabis industry has had so many problems getting started. The state has issued has more than 460 retail licenses issued to business owners, but only 27 legal dispensaries open two and a half years after legalization. Senate Cannabis Subcommittee chair Jeremy Cooney said there's at least 250,000 pounds of cannabis legally grown in New York last season that's unsold and losing potency. Office of Cannabis Management Executive Director Chris Alexander told lawmakers on Oct. 30 that, "Obviously, the retail footprint is not sufficient at this moment, and I don't run from that fact.... We've got to open more stores." Clearly there more illegal cannabis stores in New York than authorized outlets. OCM says it has raided about 300 illegal stores in the five months since it got more enforcement power. Cooney also said, "If we do not speed this process up, if we do not address the lack of retail access in the state, both upstate and downstate, then the illicit market will continue to overcome and overtake the legal market. We've seen that in other states, we can't let that happen here in New York." Read more about this story in New York State of Politics.

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