For the last few months, cannabis cultivators have been dealing with a very difficult problem to have- not having licensed dispensaries to sell the product they have grown over the last year. With NY’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) only issuing 12 retail licenses across the state, shelf space has been in high demand. For these farmers, this presents a massive problem as their crops have a somewhat limited shelf life before quality starts disappearing.
During a May 25th town hall with the Cannabis Association of New York, a sudden announcement from state representatives claimed that they had heard the farmers’ problems. The state was ready to introduce the idea of farmer’s markets within the coming weeks.
For many retailers, this is a great scenario because it will allow the public to enjoy some of the products that will be competing for space on their shelves. By sampling the farmer’s crop directly, cannabis consumers will be able to decide just what is the right strain for them and their needs. Ultimately this should create not only a smarter cannabis consumer but one who can help guide retailers into stocking what will sell right from the jump.
Contrary to the initial beliefs of many store owners, this isn’t a threat to their business. Rather, it is an opportunity for them to also go visit these farmers in one concentrated place and see who is selling a mediocre product and who is an undiscovered genius in this underrated art form. With all the competition through a massive amount of production licenses and limited sales licenses, NY has found a way to make the legal market just as corrupt and shady as the black market.
Putting up these farmer’s markets is a genius way to capture the more urban residents who travel into the country on the weekends in search of fresh summer produce. This means that this announcement is coming at just the right time for both consumers and farmers. However unlike that bushel of berries from Farmer John, the ounce of Blueberry Kush can’t be sampled on the way home.