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Cannabis rollout issues need to be addressed, advocates say

New York’s cannabis industry stakeholders, including farmers, processors, and retailers, are collectively lobbying for urgent legislative action to address challenges in the state’s recreational marijuana market. Since the legalization in 2021, the industry has faced significant hurdles, leading to financial distress among cannabis cultivators. With hundreds of thousands of pounds of cannabis deteriorating in storage and a shortage of dispensaries, stakeholders are advocating for $300 million in aid to sustain the industry.

Governor Kathy Hochul described the state’s rollout of recreational marijuana as “a disaster,” acknowledging the difficulties in rectifying the situation. With only 59 legal dispensaries operational after nearly three years, the industry’s struggle is evident.

The Cannabis Farmers Alliance, along with other industry associations, is pressing for immediate financial relief and legislative reforms. They emphasize the need for support before the upcoming planting season to avoid further losses. The alliance’s survey of licensed cultivators reveals that 97% are operating at a loss, highlighting the severity of the crisis.