NY Cannabis Insider’s week in legal weed for March 10, 2023

Last week was a busy one at NY Cannabis Insider, so let’s get into it, and take a look at the stories we covered:

Editor/Publisher Brad Racino broke a major story on Thursday about an MSO-led coalition filing a lawsuit against New York’s Office of Cannabis Management. The group, which includes some of New York’s medical cannabis companies, is asking a judge to compel state regulators to open up licensing for all retail dispensary applicants immediately.

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I talked to a few legal experts in New York’s cannabis market about their thoughts on the suit, and what the implications for the state’s legal weed industry could be. The attorneys I spoke with were mostly unsurprised that the lawsuit was filed, saying some of the arguments the plaintiffs made were predictable.

Earlier in the week, we ran a story about advertising regulations the Cannabis Control Board recently passed which ban weed companies from doing billboard ads. Industry advocates I spoke with said it’s unfair to prohibit weed companies from engaging in the same marketing techniques as other legal sectors – namely, alcohol – and therefore stigmatize marijuana businesses.

NY Cannabis Insider is working with students at Syracuse University on a series of stories about cannabis education programs throughout the state. SU journalist Sydney Mayfield Pollack wrote about a SUNY Orange program in which students learn the skills necessary – from growing to selling – for a career in cannabis.

Wayne Margulies of HUB International contributed a guest column, which told a cautionary (fictional) tale of three conditionally licensed cultivators, and what happened when they decided to hold off on getting insured.

As part of our effort to track the progress conditional license holders are making in opening their businesses, I spoke with Linsay Villarreal, vice president of operations for FlowerHouse New York, a Walden-based company that holds an Adult-Use Conditional Cultivation license, and currently has products available at adult-use dispensaries in the state. Villarreal answered questions about how the company is faring in the early days of the Empire State’s legal adult-use market, and how she thinks regulators are doing in overseeing it.

Continuing our People to Know in NY Cannabis series, last week we featured Nicholas Agrippino, vice president of finance at Cirona Labs. We also featured Shaquanna “Shay” Thomas in our “Women in cannabis” series.

Thanks for reading everyone, we’ll be back with plenty more next week!

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