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Inside New York’s struggling weed real estate experiment
Inside New York’s struggling weed real estate experiment
BY Andrew J. Kaye, COO of SLMC
February 9, 2023

Comments are based on this Politico article here.


I try to stay national in scope in my musings so as not to seem too parochial. Sometimes, however, I can’t help but focus on New York State. Not because it is likely to be one of the largest markets in the country, or its 50 million (pre-Covid) tourists many of whom will want to purchase some legal weed while in town. or it’s “Capital of the World” rep, but rather because of how badly NYS has botched the rollout of compliant cannabis # #. I’m mean really, really badly. Check out the article below on NYC retail.

First the Cultivators: Recall that it has been legal to consume and grow MJ (with a conditional license) for TWO years. But the first retail store just opened in December 2022!! So what happened with Croptober past? NOTHING. It is sitting in garbage bags in sheds throughout the State. All that hard work and capital investment bagged up doing nothng. Nada.

Now the Processors…what Processors? Since the first crop was just pulled, why spend the dough to build out a vape rig if there is no legal product to sell retail. And now that Cultivatiors are up and running, they really need Processors to distille and extract a freezable medium for later further processing into edibles, vapes and beverage. It’s really the only option. But it’s not happening either.

Then there are Retailers: Like two of them. And the State really wants to help out, even act as the master lessor of the real estate, but if it could only find the $200,000,000 it budgeted for the program. So social equity first movers, non-for-profits, and those with arrest records for weed, have a Sophie’s Choce – put up he clams now outside of the Program, or wait for the State to get it together. Which would you do?

In the meantime there is an “estimated” 1,400 non-compliant retail sellers in NYC alone according to the government. 1,400! There are that many in Brooklyn alone methinks.

Of course, it will ultimately work out in the end as the demand for pot is definitely there. But hopefully before the end of days.

So maybe NYS should get out of its own way, put a bit more “market” in the weed market, and let a 1,000 blossoms bloom!!