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Hochul pumps brakes on legal weed sales at New York farmers’ markets.

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Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration has put the brakes on a plan that would allow licensed marijuana growers and retailers to sell weed and other cannabis products at farmers’ markets and festivals — another expensive setback in the slow rollout of the legal pot industry, The Post has learned.

Officials with the state Office of Cannabis Management announced a plan in June to help struggling licensed marijuana farmers sitting on a massive stockpile of weed — more than 300,000 pounds — because of the extensive delay in opening state-sanctioned and taxed retail cannabis program, with just 16 dispensaries and delivery outlets open through New York.

Marijuana farmers and sellers were hoping the Empire State would have drafted rules in time for the peak of the summer season — starting with the Fourth of July weekend, which is now in the rearview mirror.

“It’s a little confusing and disappointing it hasn’t happened yet,” said Osbert Orduna, CEO of Queens-based The Cannabis Place.

Mayor Eric Adams previously estimated that there are 1,500 illegal pot shops that have taken root in the city since the state legalized recreational marijuana use in 2021. Hochul puts that number at 2,500 while law enforcement claims the total is closer to 5,000 adding that the average illegal smoke shop is making $2,000 to $3,000 profit a day.


Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration has put the brakes on a plan that would allow licensed marijuana growers and retailers to sell weed and other cannabis products at farmers’ markets and festivals.ZUMAPRESS.com / MEGAMarijuana farmers and sellers were hoping the Empire State would have drafted rules in time for the peak of the summer season.Lev Radin/Pacific Press/ShutterstockTeam Hochul confirmed to The Post on Wednesday that the farmers’ market concept is on hold — and may not happen at all.

Jason Tantalo, co-founder of the Cannabis Adult Retail Dispensary Coalition, called the delay “discouraging and disappointing” and theorized state officials may have jumped the gun and hadn’t ironed out complicated legal issues.

“I don’t know why they would say they would do something — and never do it. It would be a way for licensed operators to get out from under the slow roll out,” Tantalo said.

Team Hochul confirmed to The Post on Wednesday that the farmers’ market concept is on hold — and may go up in smoke, not happen at all.

“We are committed to the success of New York’s equitable cannabis industry, and are always open to considering opportunities to strengthen the program. No final decisions have been made with respect to farmers markets,” said Office of Cannabis Management spokesman Aaron Ghitelman.

Another industry group slammed the state’s failure to greenlight weed sales at farmers markets.

“The failure to roll out the farmer’s market program is just the latest in OCM’s long list of broken promises,” said Rev. Kirsten John Foy, spokesman for the Coalition for Access to Regulated & Safe Cannabis.

“OCM has been ineffective at every turn; growers, CAURD licensees, disabled veterans, workers, consumers, medical cannabis patients and individuals harmed by cannabis prohibition are paying the price for its ineptitude – all while the illicit market booms.”

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