US (NY): MMJ sellers suffer as adult-use market grows

Everyone in New York’s medical cannabis industry knew things were going to change rapidly after the state legalized adult recreational use of cannabis two years ago.

Even though the first legal retail pot shops have yet to open in this area, MMJ dispensaries and other cannabis clinics saw the number of patients walking in the door start to shrink as soon as law enforcement started scaling back on enforcing the illicit sale of cannabis.

PharmaCann runs the VeriLife dispensary on Northpointe Parkway in Amherst, which has taken a hit since the approval of recreational adult use in March 2021, said Jeremy Unruh, senior vice president for public and regulatory affairs.

“We are in effect on life support right now, and it has everything to do with the proliferation of the illicit market that occurred after cannabis was decriminalized in New York,” he said. “We have seen a steady depletion of or degradation of medical patients in the program since the day the bill was signed into law.”

Patient transactions dropped from 79,000 to 50,000 since adult use was decriminalized, he said. “That number has fallen off precipitously,” Unruh said.


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