New York is asking tech companies to solve its weed problem

New York is an economic engine for the country, from Wall Street to fashion and media, it sets the pace for the rest of the country. New York City has 18 million residents, making it the most populous city in the USA. When the state passed recreational cannabis, the industry saw it as a turning point. What she didn't expect was that it would be a cliffhanger for legal business owners. As it struggles with past mistakes, New York is now asking tech companies to solve its weed problem.

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Instead of the state solving the problem of over 1,500 unlicensed marijuana dispensaries in New York City alone, the governor wants other businesses to save the city from the mess. To give an example of the problem: Michigan, where there are 1,000 legal medical and recreational stores, just hit the $3 billion sales mark in 2023.

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What she doesn't mention is the botched rollout in the states, as there were fewer than 100 legal stores in the states, compared to more than 1,500 in NYC alone. Now the state is begging Google and Meta to adjust their algorithms, block illegal pharmacies and prevent the public from discovering them. However, you can still find shops just a few blocks from New York City's famous City Hall. This is the latest initiative after landlords large and small were required to monitor their tenants and close businesses if they do not have the documentation.

The implementation of New York's adult-use licensing program was initially delayed by former Governor Cuomo, who did not appoint members of the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) during his time in office. While Governor Hochul now quickly established the CCB, he thereby launched the adult use program. At the slightest possible moment, states upended the rollout, shocking existing legal medical retailers and destroying what might have worked. At that time, the unlicensed market was already beginning to flourish. While some unlicensed operators continued to sell after legalization, many new operators saw it as a golden opportunity. The state's police force will temporarily close at least two to four stores per week and then issue announcements about their progress in resolving the problems.

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The state wants to be a role model for equity programs. Illegal businesses pay no taxes and have no regulations on goods, which gives them a high profit.

“Strengthening New York’s equitable cannabis industry and protecting the hardworking small business owners operating in the legal market are top priorities, and the best way to achieve these goals is to expedite the closure of unlicensed businesses. “ the governor said at a recent press conference.

New York cannabis regulators have only collected $22.5K of the $22 million in fines levied against unlicensed businesses. If you want to solve the problem, the state should step up enforcement and take control of the situation, actually issue legal permits that correspond to the market, and then stop and say that it is unable to stop the problem.

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