ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — When legal cannabis dispensaries open their doors statewide later this month, a QR code near the door will look to give consumers peace of mind. The sticker, which will be posted in the windows of legally licensed dispensaries, will show that the business is up to state standards. A universal symbol on each product sold will also show that it is up to snuff.

“It’s critical for New York’s cannabis consumers to understand the risks of buying untested, illicit products and to have the tools to guide them to the safer, legal market that’s poised to open,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “These tools will help to protect public health and strengthen our ability to deliver the equitable cannabis market our law envisions.”

As stores continue to open in the first quarter of 2023, the state will also be releasing a public education campaign titled, “Why Buy Legal in New York,” which will explain the benefits of buying legal cannabis instead of illicit products. The campaign will discuss the risks of untested drugs, and how those products undermine the goals of the state’s cannabis law.

“The dispensary verification tool unveiled by Governor Hochul today combined with requirements for the universal symbol on regulated products sets us off on the right foot,” said Tremaine Wright, Chair of the Cannabis Control Board. “It is critical that consumers know and trust that the new, legal cannabis market offers tested products and follows protocols designed to protect public health. These efforts combined with rigorous enforcement, will help build a stable, legal marketplace.”

“We will use every tool available to strengthen the equitable, legal adult-use cannabis market we’re building, and the dispensary verification tool Governor Hochul unveiled today is one step in that process,” added Chris Alexander, Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management. “Our enforcement team has been growing its partnerships and ramping up activity from Buffalo to New York City and will continue to do so until these illicit stores and trucks are shutdown.”