New York state has launched a public awareness campaign in an effort to steer cannabis sales away from unlicensed operators.
"Why Buy Legal New York" emphasizes why regulated products are safer and educates consumers on the potential health risks of buying illicit products. The campaign also highlights how legal product purchases help the state's social and economic equality goals.
Gov. Kathy Hochul states, "To bolster the public health and safety of all New Yorkers, we are providing them with the information they need to make informed decisions and enjoy cannabis responsibly."
In December, Hochul implemented a verification placard to distinguish between unlicensed and illicit cannabis operators.
For years, unlicensed NY businesses have been expanding, including pop-up trucks, bicycle deliveries, bodegas and consumption lounges. As many as 1,400 stores are selling cannabis in the city alone, which adds pressure to the regulated market, already bogged down by regulations.
Historically, consumers largely don't want to do extra work to buy products. It will be interesting to see if this campaign can make a difference in swaying the public to support the regulated market.
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