Governor Kathy Hochul’s administration is backpedaling on a proposal to allow New York-grown cannabis to be sold at farmers' markets this summer. The move could have helped the roughly 200 farmers who have obtained growing licenses from the state’s Office of Cannabis Management, which is overseeing the fledgling legal cannabis industry in New York.

The state has provisionally approved over 150 retail licenses since the adult use of recreational cannabis was legalized over two years ago. But due to delays and funding issues, fewer than two dozen stores have opened so far in the entire state.

That’s left the cannabis growers stranded, with next to no legal outlets to sell their crops. At a May town hall meeting that the office held with the growers, director of policy John Kagia laid out a proposal to let them set up booths at summer farmers markets, where adults over the age of 21 could buy their products. He says the farmers could gain access to the markets through one of the state’s licensed retailers.

“We’re thinking very expansively about the types of places this can be done,” said Kagia, who said that “ as long as we can get municipal approval to host these events,” the office of cannabis management would like to help set up a market just for cannabis growers, to arrange for the growers to “piggyback” on an existing event, like a concert or festival.