The state of New York recently permitted eight medical cannabis companies to sell recreational cannabis. This brings the number of companies that can sell recreational cannabis in the state to more than a dozen. In December 2023, six companies received registered organization dispensing licenses, and in January, the Cannabis Control Board approved licenses for two more companies, among them Green Thumb Industries.
Green Thumb Industries Inc. (CSE: GTII) (OTCQX: GTBIF), a company based in Chicago, entered the New York’s marijuana market in 2019, following its acquisition of Fiorello Pharmaceuticals. Currently, the company operates more than 90 recreational marijuana dispensaries in 15 states and 4 medical dispensaries under Fiorello’s medical marijuana license.
Green Thumb’s location in Henrietta, called RISE, is the sole dispensary under the company to have received a license to sell recreational marijuana to customers in New York. The company’s senior VP of Revenue, Dominic O’Brien, stated that the company had been serving medical cannabis patients for almost give years in the state and that would remain a priority for the organization.
While a large share of Green Thumb’s market is still medical marijuana patients, O’Brien noted that he was optimistic and excited about bringing recreational marijuana products already sold in other states to RISE, among them EVO, Incredibles and Dog Walkers.
Medical cannabis providers have been part of the state’s marijuana industry since the implementation of its medical cannabis program in 2016. Medical companies are vertically integrated, which allows them to cultivate, process and sell their own produce under a single license.
In the past, some independent growers have raised concerns that the presence of medical companies might drive them out of New York’s burgeoning recreational market. This sentiment isn’t shared by all, however. The director of policy for the Office of Cannabis Management, John Kagia, states that the companies’ inclusion may help expand the state’s retail capacity at a faster pace.
New York has, in the past, struggled with access to licensed retail dispensaries. In August 2023, a court injunction left many applications that had been submitted to the state’s Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary in limbo, which prevented the Office of Cannabis Management from issuing any other licenses until the injunction was lifted a couple of months later by the supreme court.
With the issue now sorted, Kagia expects that New York may issue more than a thousand licenses to manufacturers, growers, retailers and distributors in the coming months. With these changes, he notes that retailers that sell both recreational and medical marijuana will be required by law to stock products from other suppliers in the market.
Currently, regulations require that all recreational and medical marijuana sold by licensed retailers in New York must be grown in the state.
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