News, Politics, and Culture from 14895

By John Tucker

What’s going on with legal cannabis in New York


The Office of Cannabis Management inches closer to launching the adult-use market

By Andrew Harris

The process of converting a billion dollar industry out of the black market and into a fully legal industry is unprecedented in New York State. It’s complicated with law enforcement, banking, taxation, local laws, federal laws, tribal sovereignty, product safety, public health education, and a fairly complex licensing and regulatory matrix. Then of course the actual art of growing cannabis, a plant that can be complicated and time consuming to grow.

Native tribes in New York State have already begun growing, processing, and selling cannabis. A drive through the St. Regis reservation in northern NY, or the Seneca reservation in Cattaraugus county gives the impression that New York has given the green light. Not exactly, as Politico reported recently from Salamanca NY. Megan Brink writes, “State officials said it is legal for the tribes across New York to sell marijuana before regulators have adopted their own rules because the tribes have sovereignty.” Read her full reporting :

The rest of New York is way behind the tribal businesses but has shown some indication that the process is accelerating. In order to create an inventory to meet the high demand expected, the state is allowing farmers who have already been licensed to grow hemp, to start growing recreational cannabis. Late last month, Governor Hochul created a “Conditional Adult-use Cannabis Cultivator license.” This will enable NY farmers who are already growing the plant(hemp is a non-psychoactive variety of cannabis,) a head start producing the varieties which contains tetrahydrocannabinol. It is unclear when this crop which will be planted for the 2022 season will actually be on shelves. Read Governor Hochul’s full statement below:

Questions about how the licensing will be rolled out in New York has become controversial after the Office of Cannabis Management signaled that those who have been arrested for cannabis crimes in the past will be the priority. A paradox to many who think that those with a clean criminal record should not be penalized in the process. The Times Union editorial board has a well written plea to New York regulators in this piece:

Regardless of the open market on tribal lands or the discussion over licensing, “big ganja” is coming to New York. Plans for large scale production facilities with ties to the current NYS medical marijuana industry are in motion. The Hudson Valley appears poised to host several large scale facilities, including a recently approved Orange County project. Cresco Labs will be building a brand new cannabis production operation in the town of Wawarsing. Cloey Callahan reports on developments in the Hudson Valley:

More local, investors have been giving the vacant “Dresser-Rand” building in Wellsville a closer look as a potential production site. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the vacant Community Bank building on the Bolivar Road in Wellsville is a possible future dispensary. While the village of Wellsville has passed a prohibition on retail sales and consumption lounges, the town of Wellsville has no restriction on the industry. This potential dispensary sits just a few feet outside village limits and any of the tax revenue from that location would only benefit the town.

The word on the street in Scio NY, a town which has voted to embrace the industry, is that a future Main Street dispensary is being planned. Cannabis lovers in Andover, Alfred, Almond and other Allegany county towns are eagerly awaiting guidance from NY State to begin growing, breeding, producing, and selling cannabis.

Have plans to get into the cannabis industry in Allegany County? We’d love to hear from you,

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