On Thursday December 29, at 4:20 exactly, New York State made its first legal cannabis sale at Housing Works in Manhattan. This is great news for the other 35 CAURD licenses that were approved back in November-ITS HAPPENING. As the new year begins, we should start to see other dispensaries open doors at a (hopefully) rapid pace.
While this is exciting news, the other piece of the puzzle is shutting down the illegal shops selling cannabis and cannabis products. As frivolous an issue as it may seem to some, these shops are only going to hurt the intense work that has been put in by the mom and pop farms. These folks have put their life savings and all of their time and effort to start a legal, successful business. The products they are offering are lab tested and only put on shelves when rigorous standards are met. Not only are the illegal bodegas effecting the farmers in NY, they are selling products that are not quality controlled or have been shown to contain harmful chemicals and bacteria. Tests given to samples of illegal products have shown:
- E. Coli and Salmonella were present in loose flower and pre-rolls. Legal cultivators are prohibited from selling products with any trace of these.
- Many products were found to have THC content that varied from what was labeled. Many had a significantly lesser amount and some gummies were found to be twice as strong as labeled.
- Traces of pesticides were found on multiple samples. Bug prevention must be natural and chemical free in cannabis cultivation.
Not one sample that was tested would have passed NYS guidelines for sellable cannabis. Buying legal will help not only protect the small farmers, but it will also protect you. With the standards farmers must meet to sell their products, you can be at ease knowing your product is safe.
Now that we have seen the first dispensary doors open, just know it’s going to only be a matter of time before each part of the state has convenient access to legal cannabis. We know it’s been a tough ride so far, but it will surely be worth the wait.
Must be 21+. Please consume responsibly.