Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) – In the beginning of the month, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the cannabis market will be expanding in the state, including new rules that will allow companies licensed to grow and sell medical marijuana in New York to get into the recreational space.

A 60-day application window, which started on October 4, will allow for 1,000 new licenses to get approved and comes nine months following the first legal recreational marijuana sales began in the state and about two dozen recreation, state-regulated shops slowly opened throughout. It’s all a small fraction compared to the 400+ conditional adult-use recreational dispensary (CAURD) licenses that have been approved.

Legal battles, injunctions and the failure to accurately dole out previously promised DASNY funds, have caused the state’s marijuana rollout recipe to not be as optimal as anticipated. Some dispensary owners and growers are concerned about the prospect of competing with the medical providers, fearing they will be squeezed by deeper pocket companies before they had a chance to really establish themselves.

“The medical operators were always going to enter into the space,” says Collagen Law Attorney Aleece Burgio. “Obviously, it is always a concern to have that type of competition, especially when medical MSO’s (multi-state operators) are allowed 100,000 square feet of indoor growing canopy. But I think overall, New York is just trying to create its own stable market. The medical space has not really turned a profit or done well, in the last almost 10 years now. The program was legalized in 2014. Obviously I understand the farmer’s concern, but there’s also a lot of other opportunity in this space that I think really takes precedent.”

Aaron Van Camp, owner of Dank 716, the first state-regulated recreational marijuana dispensary in Buffalo, has little concern with the medical players coming into the space.

“I think the fact that they’re going to have access to indoor marijuana before the local cultivators is somewhat concerning. But overall, I’m a big believer in the local cultivators, who put out a better quality product. And I don’t think medical marijuana has gone so well in New York State as far as quality and what they’ve been putting out. So I’m still a big believer that the locals will put out a big product and it won’t be as big of an issue as some people are making it out to be.”

Van Camp says his concerns lie with the promises made by the state for other CAURD holders. He would rather see the state’s cannabis industry grow by getting those CAURD license holders up and operational as promised by the state rather than proceed with the medical expansion.

“My concerns are getting more stores open for people that have been in the card program or in the open licensing program, not so much the MSOs, but the small business people of New York State like it was promised, I think that’s the major concern, is getting those stores open. That’s going to get the market really going. It might be more beneficial for me personally for that not to happen, because we are open but I’m not really interested in that, I’d like to see the whole thing get going because we have a lot of people that we know, that are hurting a great deal from it. For the good of all, it’s going to be a really good thing to get, get it open and get everything running.”

Burgio provides her thoughts going forward for as New York continues to trek through the rocky marijuana business terrain.

“New York needs to start seeing a true supply-tier in a facilitated open market, because the problems that that these farmers are having is they don’t have anywhere to sell. You know, I’m very glad that there’s a application window, that retail stores are hopefully going to start getting licensed, and we can keep the ball rolling.”

 In the beginning of the month, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the cannabis market will be expanding in New York which includes new rules that will allow companies licensed to grow and sell medical marijuana in New York to get into the recreatio  Read More