Marijuana Farmers Market Opens Alongside New York State Fair

August 24, 2023 ·

The New York State Fair kicked off on Wednesday, and for the first time ever, attendees have the chance to browse—and buy—marijuana products from nearly a dozen local growers at a cannabis farmers market being held in conjunction with the event.

The so-called Great New York State Cannabis Showcase technically isn’t part of the state fair, but the pop-up exhibition and market will run concurrently from August 23 through September 3. It’s located less than a mile from the fairgrounds in Syracuse—a short ride on the free shuttle bus provided by organizers.

“We are happy to see a large-scale showcase come to life only minutes from the Great New York State Fair, so attendees can learn about the industry and purchase and enjoy products from actual NY producers,” said Allan Gandelman, president of the Cannabis Association of New York (CANY), an industry group whose members are participating in the farmers market.

The pop-up will run all day, from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m., with shuttle service running continuously between the event location and Gate 4 of the fairgrounds, according to FlynnStoned Dispensary, which is hosting the cultivators.

The ability to sell products on-site is a notable opportunity for small marijuana businesses at a time when few licensed retailers have opened across the state. Joann Kudrewicz, chair of CANY’s cultivation committee and CEO of marijuana breeding company Ravens View Genetics, called the event “a first-in-the-nation opportunity that will stimulate business for participating growers and retailers.”

One word of caution for fairgoers: Unlike years past, the New York State Fair will not allow smoking or vaping (of cannabis or tobacco) anywhere on the fairgrounds this year. Dedicated smoking areas can still be found outside some pedestrian gates. (In 2021, the fair allowed cannabis consumption outdoors anywhere tobacco could be smoked, except in designated non-smoking areas.)

The sale of hemp-derived cannabinoid products, meanwhile, will be allowed inside the state fair—a new development for 2023. Vendors with a cannabinoid hemp retail license or temporary retail permit may sell hemp-derived cannabinoid products both in-person and online, according to fair officials.

On the other side of the country, California’s state fair held its first-ever state-sanctioned cannabis competition last year, but that event did not involve the sale of marijuana.

The showcase in Syracuse is just the latest in a series of marijuana farmers markets popping up across New York. They’re put on through the Cannabis Growers Showcase (CGS) program, an initiative of New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) that allows licensed growers and processors to sell directly to consumers.

“These Growers Showcases are important to the industry as they provide more opportunities for growers and retailers to move their products,” CANY said in a press release, explaining that with such limited retail options, growers have been producing more marijuana than they can sell

“Over 300,000 pounds of cannabis has been cultivated,” the group said, “but only 18,000 pounds has been sold.”

Regulators voted to approve the program last month and quickly began accepting applications. The first pop-up event kicked off in the Hudson Valley on August 10.

There are now at least a dozen cannabis showcases scheduled across the state. Some are single-day affairs, like one scheduled for Saturday in association with a summer concert series in Hoosick Falls, but many others run regularly. Recurring markets can be found through the end of the year in New Paltz, Copake, New Hampton, Schuylerville, Granville, Batavia, Rochester, Newark and Salt Springs.

To receive approval for a CGS, applicants must demonstrate that they have at least three licensed adult-use cannabis cultivators and one conditional retail licensee. For every three additional cultivators, another provisional vendor must be included at the event.

OCM released templates of approval letters for municipalities and associated events along with the applications last month. It also provided inventory lists, attestation letters for CGS licensees and sample diagrams showing how events can be physically laid out.

New York’s cannabis regulators are also moving to license more marijuana retailers. Last month they approved an additional 212 provisional retailer licenses, the largest single batch of approvals up to that point. That brought the state’s total to 463 licensees that are gearing up to serve the adult market. It’s expected to take six months to a year, however, for the shops to open.

But a New York judge recently ordered regulators to temporarily stop processing cannabis business license applications after a group of military veterans filed a lawsuit arguing that the state is violating the legalization law by prioritizing licenses for certain social equity applicants.

There are currently fewer than two dozen adult-use retailers operating in New York amid what many observers see as a troubled rollout that has seen delays in financing and opening storefronts that are supposed to be provided to equity retailers by the state. (Full Story)

In categories:Tourism Trade Shows
Next Post

Illinois Concert This Weekend Will Be State’s First To Allow On-Site Marijuana Consumption

Music fans heading to Mundelein, Illinois, this weekend will make history as part of the state’s first-ever concert to allow open marijuana consumption. Headliners, fittingly, include the cannabis-friendly artists Cypress Hill, Stephen Marley and Action Bronson. Kicking off Saturday afternoon,…
Previous Post

Celebs Turn Up the Heat at CHAMPS Summer 2023 Trade Show

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas—unless it’s brokering new partnerships and strengthening business relationships. That’s because one thing that Las Vegas does well is host tradeshows. The city makes it easy to attend, entertain and network—and the CHAMPS Summer…
Random Post

Mexico Grants First License for Cannabis Cultivation

Mexico’s government on Thursday granted its first-ever license for cannabis cultivation in the country. The Mexican Health Regulatory Agency awarded the license to Xebra Brands which allows it to import and acquire cannabis seeds, cultivate and harvest cannabis, process and produce cannabis,…
Random Post

Schumer Touts Marijuana Banking Bill As Bipartisan Priority, And Republican Sponsor Is Optimistic As Long As Measure Isn’t Expanded

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is highlighting marijuana banking reform is one of several key legislative priorities that he intends to push through using bipartisan cooperation when the Senate reconvenes next month. The Republican sponsor of the cannabis bill,…
Random Post

Comedian T.J. Miller Wants You To Be Present

T.J. Miller is beaming. Fresh off the drop of his latest comedy special, he’s about to pause our phone chat to toast his wife when he gets some great news about a Christmas movie. And while film and TV are…
Random Post

Efforts to Make Legal Cannabis Industry Equitable Are Falling Flat

More than a dozen states have created programs to give minorities who were disproportionately affected by the war on drugs a chance to participate in their legalized cannabis industries.  So far, those efforts haven’t worked.  Black and Latino entrepreneurs seeking to capitalize on the new…