Medical marijuana sellers in New York, who were initially restricted to selling their products for medicinal use, are urging Governor Kathy Hochul to grant them licenses for selling to all adult consumers.
In an August 31 letter to the governor, they criticized the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) for ignoring the success of other states that allowed existing medical operators to enter the adult-use cannabis market, reports the NY Post. They argued that New York’s slow rollout and rampant illegal cannabis sales were endangering public safety and hurting taxpayers.
The operators proposed that issuing licenses to them would significantly increase the number of adult-use marijuana dispensaries in the state, offering a stable supply chain of safe, tested, and taxed cannabis products. They emphasized their decade-long experience in building and growing New York’s medical cannabis program, highlighting their commitment to creating a reliable, revenue-generating industry for the state.
New York initially legalized medical marijuana sales in 2014 and recreational sales seven years later. However, the first batch of recreational cannabis licenses was reserved for individuals with prior pot-related convictions, leading to legal disputes and complaints of discrimination against other applicants, including medical marijuana operators.
A court injunction temporarily halted further license issuance, complicating the rollout. Governor Hochul’s office is currently reviewing the request from the medical cannabis operators as the state strives to establish an equitable adult-use cannabis market while addressing past injustices. Additionally, the state has increased enforcement efforts against illegally sold cannabis in unlicensed smoke shops.
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