ALBANY, N.Y. (WRGB) — Hundreds of thousands of pounds of cannabis unable to be sold with many blaming the state for its slow roll out of legal recreational sales.
Now, state lawmakers and native americans are calling on Governor Kathy Hochul to act fast and sign legislation to address the oversupply.
Dubbed the Cannabis Crop Rescue Act, would allow licensed marijuana farmers to sell their crops to the state’s tribal nations. The legislation passed in the state Assembly and Senate, but still needs the governor’s signature.
It’s a proposed solution for cultivators struggling to get their products sold as the state struggles to open more dispensaries.
“There’s a huge opportunity for cannabis and it’s concerning from where we all sit right now in the middle of the field, stockpiled with cannabis ready to sell,” said Tessa Williams, licensed cultivator and founder of Empire Farm 1830 in Columbia County.
Nearly 300 marijuana farmers are trying to sell their crops, but only 15 dispensaries are currently opened statewide.
Fears are growing that crops will go bad before they’re able to hit the shelves– meaning a lot of farmers are at risk of losing millions of dollars.
By opening the market up to tribal nations, lawmakers hope it’ll ease this situation, and tribal nations believe it’s a win-win.
“It gives us a source of local, safe, laboratory-tested products. It’s also a win for local farmers who have been experiencing a situation where they have no market to sell their crop which leads to devaluation, and all kinds of financial stress in planting next year’s crop,” said Tela Troge, member of the Shinnecock Nation Cannabis Regulatory Division.
Troge tells CBS6 that they’re ready to make millions of dollars in cannabis purchases from cultivators, if this bill is signed into law.
“We have put forward that we would like to make at least a $10 million initial purchase to open our dispensary, Little Beach Harvest,” said Troge.
Williams tells CBS6 that this could be an opportunity to increase sales for her and other marijuana growers, but she has some concerns.
“I’m concerned about what the pricing is and that we’re also still responsible for the tax,” said Williams.
“The idea was to limit the number of farmers able to grow and then open up these dispensaries so you have an aligned, vertical integration to support this social equity opportunity to support those injured in the past and generate revenue in this business inside our state for our farmers to the markets,” added Williams.
The Governor’s Office tells CBS6 that they are reviewing the legislation.
NY lawmakers and tribal nations are calling on Governor Kathy Hochul to act fast and sign legislation to address the oversupply. (WRGB)
Last week, Governor Kathy Hochul acknowledged New York’s adult-use cannabis industry’s slow roll out in a press conference.
“Sometimes it takes a while to get it right, and the process has not been easy. It’s not been easy. It’s not on the pace we would want to see. But sometimes the things worth doing are not on an easy path,” she said.
The state Office of Cannabis Management said they do not comment on pending legislation.
This content was originally published here.