ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Cannabis industry stakeholders from across the state met at Lark Hall on Tuesday to discuss how they can find success from seed to sale.
“Eventually, there’ll be stores everywhere, and it feels great to be one of the first to jump right in,” said Donald Andrews, owner of Upstate Canna Co.
Formerly known as Upstate CBD, Andrews’ shop in Schenectady will start selling retail adult-use cannabis products April 1st. He was one of dozens of business owners and farmers at the forum.
Andrews was one of the first in the state to get a Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries, or CAURD license. Now, he’ll be the first in the Capital Region to sell the products. This, after a lengthy process to get a provisional license from the state.
“It’s a very new process for everybody,” Andrews said.
State regulators approved an additional 150 cannabis dispensary licenses earlier this month, bringing the total to 300. With only a handful of shops open in the state, many have been eager to see the market up and running.
“The underground market is exploding and having its own crazy world alongside this adult-use regulated market,” said Zach Sarkis of Flower City Collective in Rochester, “so it provides a complicated and tricky environment we live in.”
In New York City, lots of unauthorized pot shops have popped up, offering cheaper prices than the legal stores where the products are highly taxed. Mayor Eric Adams announced last month he’d be cracking down on the problem.
Unlike illicit stores, legal shops like Upstate Canna Co. boast regulated products.
“We’re looking forward to bringing good quality, lab-tested cannabis at a decent market price to our community,” said Andrews.