New York cannabis farms have nowhere to sell a combined 300,000 pounds of weed, valued at $750 million, as delays continue for dispensaries in the state
- New York cannabis farms are unsure of what to do with a combined 300,000 pounds of weed — valued at $750 million — without open dispensaries to sell the pot.
- Applicants for legal cannabis retail stores are still waiting to hear back from the state's Cannabis Control Board.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds of marijuana are currently sitting idly on New York cannabis farms without a single legal recreational dispensary in the state open and ready to sell the product.
An estimated 300,000 pounds of weed are becoming a growing concern for farmers who planted the crop in spring 2021 in hopes of cashing in on the drug's legalization in New York state. The lot is valued at about $750 million based on the average wholesale value of $2,500 per pound, according to Bloomberg.
Today, the legal recreational cannabis market is stalled as applicants for the first 150 individual retail licenses and 25 nonprofit licenses are still waiting to hear back from the Office of Cannabis Management, per Bloomberg.
Although players in the industry are waiting for the green light from the state, Melany Dobson — CEO of New York-based Hudson Cannabis — told Bloomberg it's not the only thing holding her and others back.
"It's an unclear path to market," Dobson said. "We've been told again and again that dispensaries will open before the end of the year. I've acted as though that's our single source of proof, so we're prepared for that."
The clock is ticking for the freshly harvested pounds of pot as farmers work to extend its shelf life in preparation for the still-to-come legal dispensaries.
"Old cannabis starts to have a brownish glow," Dobson said.
She continued: "We're trying to retain as much quality as possible. And rushing it into the finished product bags is not the way to do that."
Dobson originally projected Hudson Cannabis would start generating revenue in November, but she told Bloomberg that's no longer the case. In May, Tremaine Wright, chair of the Cannabis Control Board, said the legal retail licensing process would begin over the summer and sales would begin in late 2022.
According to a report from Insider's Ben Gilbert, more daring entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the legal gray area around marijuana and opened their own retail storefronts without a license.
The application to become a legal retailer is extensive and costs a non-refundable $2,000 to submit. The state guaranteed those affected by marijuana-related convictions would be the first to receive licenses if they also have experience owning and operating a business, Bloomberg reported.
The Cannabis Control Board will meet on Monday, according to its official site.
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