Recreational marijuana dispensaries are already doing big business in New Jersey, and nine are scheduled to open in Connecticut in January 2023.
But in New York, a date hasn’t been announced yet — a slow rollout that is creating a cannabis conundrum. Local growers who were awarded the first licenses bet the farm on legal weed. But now they have half a billion dollars worth of cannabis ready to sell, without any buyers.
The first harvest for the state’s pot pioneers came with high expectations.
“We’re like when prohibition started — like starting a Budweiser factory or beer factory or something like that,” said Ryan McGrath, of Hudson River Farms.
But lately, excitement about the budding business has turned to fear for the 200-plus licensed cannabis growers in New York, like McGrath’s farm in Dutchess County.
“It’s terrifying, because we just don’t know,” said Colin Brogan, who also works for the farm.
Stuck inside a secure storage room for weeks now is almost 2,000 pounds of cannabis — at just this one farm alone. But there’s nowhere to sell it.
“Until we have that final piece of the supply chain, the dispensaries that can actually sell to a consumer, everybody’s kind of in the same boat, and we’re just sitting around, waiting to sell it to somebody,” said Hudson River Farms’ Alex Keenan.
Just waiting, as there is hundreds of millions of dollars worth of weed across the state — all of which could potentially lose value if they can’t…