Slow cannabis dispensary roll-out fuels NY’s illegal trade, frustrates legal industry – WRGB

SCHUYLERVILLE, N.Y. (WRGB) — The state Office of Cannabis Management recognizes the need to pick up the pace and get more dispensaries open, as officials admit the slow roll out is paving the way for illicit shops to thrive.

MORE: OCM Exec responds to Governor Hochul: ‘We got to move faster’

The longer the state takes to get more dispensaries open, the more sales could be given away to illegal sellers. For those trying to get into the industry the legal way, it’s frustrating to play a waiting game while illegal shops make money.

“Honestly, almost daily we’re seeing people showing up with producers they bought illegally or telling us where they’re shopping,” said Christina Myers, owner of Old Saratoga Mercantile in Schuylerville.

Before December 31st, Myers was allowed to sell her cannabis products legally as part of OCM’s Cannabis Growers Showcase initiative.

Since that ended, she said some customers that once went to her to buy cannabis legally are now buying from illicit shops nearby.

“There are seven in a 10 mile radius of [my shop] and that’s just the ones that I know about,” Myers said.

The closest legal dispensaries from Old Saratoga Mercantile are all roughly 40 minutes away in Albany, Schenectady, and Rensselaer

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