Legal Weed Coming Soon, New York, By Bike That Is, Pot Shops Taking Too Darn Long To Open

Legal weed shops are notably behind schedule in New York, but delivery services could start as early as next week and they’re expecting to do some brisk holiday business.

Following last week’s announcement by the Office of Cannabis Management that it had issued its first 36 retail licenses as New York moves closer to becoming what will likely be the largest legal weed market in the country, the sad fact is that precious few retail shops are set up. 

Chris Alexander, executive director of New York’s Office of Cannabis Management told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Friday that they are hoping to get the ball rolling by allowing retail non-storefronts to begin delivery service as early as next week as a way of jumpstarting adult-use cannabis sales. 

“With the authorization to have a dispensary, you’re also allowed to deliver your products pre-ordered and delivered as we are waiting for their locations to be finalized,” Alexander said, adding that operational details will be available this coming week.

Sell It Before It Rots: As it is, tons of cannabis worth millions of dollars grown in upstate New York have been sitting in warehouses. If farmers don’t get their crops into stores soon, their nearly billion-dollar revenue will eventually start to rot. 

Delivery Will Get The Ball Rolling

Dan Livingston, executive director of the Cannabis Association of New York, called the delivery option a positive development. 

“There’s a certain amount of excitement because we had the sense that delivery might not make that first cut,” Livingston said per The City. “The fact that dispensaries are going to be able to run their own delivery is exciting because we know that that’s where the market is, in New York City in particular.” 

Open Secret: Weed Delivery In NYC Has Been Going On For A Long Time

Weed delivery has been going on in the Big Apple for years. Indeed, many say delivery has been at the heart of the city’s booming legacy cannabis industry, from which the state’s legal cannabis bureaucrats wisely seem to be taking a lesson.

While New York’s 150 licensees have been assigned specific counties for their retail operations, for the time being, the delivery services will allow them to function anywhere in the city, noted David Feder, an attorney who founded Weed Law.  

“It’s a whole universe that can be completely distinct from the retail experience that a brand has,” Feder said, noting that licensees “can be running two very significant and meaningful brand experiences that can cater to different audiences completely.”


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