New York cannabis associations divided on issuing more adult-use licenses

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Two prominent New York cannabis industry associations disagree about whether regulators should accelerate the issuance of retail licenses in the state.

The Cannabis Farmers Alliance sent a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office pleading for “immediate and decisive action” to relieve cultivators of the massive glut of unsold marijuana that many are grappling with because of the slow rollout of the state’s adult-use program, according to Spectrum News 1.

“These farmers, central to the cannabis supply chain, have endured overwhelming financial losses, with a staggering 97% of them operating at a loss,” the letter notes.

The memo was in response to a Cannabis Association of New York letter to the state’s Cannabis Advisory Board urging the agency not to increase the number of recreational marijuana licenses out of concern the move could oversaturate the market.

“While we understand the desire to address certain issues,” the Cannabis Association of New York wrote, “we strongly believe that handing out licenses without a thorough understanding of the market’s capacity will lead to oversaturation, business failures, and unintended public health risks.”

Thousands of applications for retail licenses haven’t yet been reviewed by the Office of Cannabis Management, according to Spectrum News 1.

Currently, 114 adult-use stores are operational in New York, Office of Cannabis Management data shows.

There are roughly 2,000 unlicensed stores operating in the state, according to a recent estimate.