Licensed cannabis growers in New York would be temporarily allowed to sell their product to dispensaries with Tribal Nation licenses operating in the state under pending legislation that will soon head to Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The measure is meant to aid the cultivators of adult-use cannabis in the state as the marketplace has struggled to gain a full toehold in New York amid a slower-than-expected rollout and competition from unlicensed cannabis sales.
Lawmakers called the opening up of Tribal-run dispensaries a "short-term solution" to aid growers who struggled in the last several years.
“After months of uncertainty surrounding New York’s adult-use cannabis market roll out, desperation is building amongst the state’s cannabis farmers," said state Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. "They have been stranded with 250,000 pounds of unsold cannabis products from the 2022 season. The current pace of new retail openings will not resolve this issue, and this product is losing value every day we wait."
Lupardo, along with state Sen. Michelle Hinchey, want Hochul to sign the provision into law by the summer or risk the loss of experienced cannabis growers who are licensed to operate in the state.
“The languishing roll out of New York’s cannabis retail sector has left our small farmers sitting on thousands of pounds of stockpiled product from last year’s harvest and facing extreme financial hardship," Hinchey said.
Hochul earlier this month touted the early efforts to address the unlicensed cannabis sales in New York with fines of up to $20,000 a day as well as threats of closing businesses for repeat violators.