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New York expands legal marijuana market amid delays

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  • Staff Report 

Nine months after launching legal recreational marijuana sales, New York is poised to shake up the market by introducing new competitors. With only around two dozen approved dispensaries currently open, the state has faced criticisms for delays and legal disputes, especially surrounding its permitting process.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

In response, state regulators have initiated a 60-day application window, anticipating the issuance of over 1,000 new licenses. Additionally, companies already licensed for medical marijuana sales will now be permitted to enter the recreational market. While these changes aim to curtail the dominance of unlicensed sellers, some smaller farmers and retailers express concerns about competing against more financially robust entities.

Coss Marte, owner of the CONBUD dispensary, voiced concerns about larger entities potentially undercutting prices, making it challenging for small businesses to thrive. Critics attribute the stunted growth of the retail sector to bureaucratic delays and lawsuits stemming from the state’s licensing process. Despite these challenges, Chris Alexander, director of the Office of Cannabis Management, remains optimistic, noting the success of some dispensaries and predicting a growing market demand that will necessitate around 2,000 dispensaries in the state.