New York opens doors for cannabis sales at public events

New York cannabis event sales

New York regulators approved the Cannabis Growers Showcase (CGS) initiative which will open doors for cannabis farms to sell products at farmer’s markets and other sanctioned events. Brands and farms continue struggling as the legacy market still has lots of loyal consumers. Regulators are hoping that CGS, along with the approval of over 200 more retail licenses, will help bolster the fledgling industry.

A New York State Office of Cannabis Management press release shared hopes that CGS will help farmers move products more quickly and provide more New Yorkers access. Before this action, New York State had only 20 licensed dispensaries.

“This initiative will not only increase sales and retail access throughout the state, but it will also connect New York consumers directly with local cannabis farmers and homegrown brands,” said Damian Fagon, Chief Equity Officer of the New York State Office of Cannabis Management, in a press release. “But this isn’t just about helping farmers; it will also make tested cannabis more accessible to consumers across the state, bringing licensed cannabis sales to communities where a local dispensary has yet to open.”

Under the initiative, retailers can hold showcases for farms, selling products and expanding brand awareness. The state has set some regulations around the events:

  • Retailers need to get municipal approval before hosting showcases outside of regulated dispensaries.
  • The event must feature at least three cannabis brands.
  • Only one showcased brand can sell edibles and vape carts.
  • There is a cap on price markups.

“As a former New York hemp farmer, I know firsthand how devastating it can be when a hard fought harvest struggles to get to market. The Cannabis Growers Showcase was informed by those lived experiences, as well as by many difficult conversations with our growers and processors who justifiably wanted more avenues to share their products with New Yorkers,” Fagon said.

New York isn’t the only state figuring out how to assist cannabis farms working to break even. Nevada created three new cannabis licenses to open up more avenues for sales. AB253 created temporary licensure for events, vendors, and organizers. This bill opened the door for sales at all events, not just weed ones.

Last year, California’s Bay Area featured cannabis sales at the Outside Lands Music Festival. At BottleRock Napa this summer, attendees were directed to meet at the gates for cannabis delivery, nonchalantly looking the other way when people sparked a joint.

Cannabis consumption and sales continue to permeate “traditional” events, merging worlds and integrating the plant into society. This isn’t just a step to helping cannabis farmers make ends meet, but a righteous move towards normalizing the plant. In the long run, normalization can grow sales too.

Cara Wietstock is Senior Content Producer of and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.