Gov. Hochul Launches New Initiative To Teach New Yorkers How To Make Safer Weed Purchases

Zinger Key Points
  • Currently, only seven stores legally operate in the market, compared to between 1,200 and 1,700 illegal stores.
  • The digital campaign "Why Buy Legal New York" is directed toward educating consumers on where to buy legal cannabis.

Governor Kathy Hochul is making yet another attempt to protect the stalled legal recreational cannabis market in New York.

On Tuesday, Hochul revealed the launch of a public education campaign to educate consumers to make safer, informed, legal purchases of cannabis from licensed dispensaries statewide, as 4/20 holiday approaches.

"To bolster the public health and safety of all New Yorkers, we are providing them with the information they need to make informed decisions and enjoy cannabis responsibly," Governor Hochul said. "As we continue to build a healthier and more equitable cannabis market, I am proud to launch this important public education campaign to promote safer, legal purchases of cannabis from licensed dispensaries throughout our state."

The digital campaign "Why Buy Legal New York" is directed toward educating consumers 21 and older on where to buy legal cannabis and how to consume it safely through various educational materials.

Under the legislation the Governor proposed last month, New York authorities would be given expanded power to shut down illegal pot shops and levy fines of up to $200,000.

"The continued existence of illegal dispensaries is unacceptable, and we need additional enforcement tools to protect New Yorkers from dangerous products and support our equity initiatives," Hochul said at the time. The governor created a $200 million public-private fund in Jan. 2022 to support social equity applicants.

There Is Still Hope For The Stalling Market

Currently, only seven stores legally operate in the market, compared to between 1,200 and 1,700 illegal stores, Brett Schuman, a partner at Goodwin Procter LLP, recently highlighted.

Schuman shared his views on the challenges and opportunities of operating a cannabis business in New York City alongside two other experts, Matthew Bernardo, a president at Housing Works and Ngiste Abebe, vice president of public policy at Columbia Care Inc. CCHWF at last week's Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Miami Beach, Florida.

Since its beginnings in March 2021, when then-Gov, Andrew Cuomo's signed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana bill, the New York cannabis market has witnessed numerous trials and tribulations.

Bernardo, who runs Housing Works, one of the seven legal operators in New York, seems to be satisfied with how the business is going and the support that the's Office of Cannabis Management has been providing.

"We have a different viewpoint," he said. "We've been successful. We're profitable after 280e."

Photo: Courtesy of Sharon McCutcheo and cottonbro by Pexels

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsPenny StocksRegulationsPoliticsTop StoriesMarketsGeneralBrett SchumanKathy Hochulmarijuana legalizationNew York CannabisWhy Buy Legal New York
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