New York approves an expanded line of medical marijuana products, a Colorado hemp producer departs for Arkansas, and a Maryland credit union welcomes MMJ businesses.
Here’s a closer look at some notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week.
New York blues
It’s bullish news that one of New York’s licensed medical marijuana businesses got the green light to offer flower for vaping and lozenges.
Pending approval, Etain also may be able to manufacture water-soluble cannabis powder.
But the expanded product line is not nearly enough to help the state’s struggling MMJ business, said one expert.
But “it really doesn’t matter,” said Matt Karnes, founder of GreenWave Advisors, a New York cannabis research firm.
The state fumbled when it implemented the market, he added, because it’s too restrictive in terms of product offerings.
Until the state adds the products people really want to consume – namely smokable flower and edibles – it won’t compete with the black market, Karnes contended.
“The existing model in New York state right now is relatively failed,” he said.
Karnes predicted New York will eventually fall in line with Vermont and other nearby states that are marching toward legal adult-use programs.
The Empire State’s next-door neighbor, New Jersey, also is closing in on legalizing recreational marijuana.
But once the Garden State goes rec, New Yorkers who want legal cannabis will be able to take the bridge or the tunnel to get what they need, Karnes said.
“On top of that, the black market in New York City is really robust,” he added. “And it’s going to continue to challenge the legal market.”
He also said New York’s plan to double the number of MMJ businesses, to 10, isn’t the solution, either.