In a move to combat illicit cannabis operators and help consumers distinguish between illicit and licensed operators, verification placards with QR codes are now being placed on cannabis store windows. However, it is doubtful that these placards will sway cannabis consumers from using illegal cannabis stores.
This move on behalf of New York governor, Kathy Hochul, is essentially a repeat of the similar plan rolled out by Los Angeles [LINK TO ARTICLE]. It is also expected that the placards, like the Los Angeles efforts, will not stop consumers from purchasing from illicit stores. As in the case of Los Angeles, verification placards showed minor influence in the cannabis marketplace.
Will A Verification Placard Stop Illicit Sales?
While efforts by New York leadership to help guide cannabis consumers to purchase safer, legal cannabis products are noble, the question is whether or not these placards will actually stop illicit sales. More effective plans would be to create a safe, transparent, affordable marketplace where incentives to go to illegal shops are eliminated.
Differentiating Cannabis Licensees From Illicit Operators
Cannabis consumers may still not lend their walk toward legal cannabis operators with the placards, but the move by the governor will still see operators differentiating themselves, as cannabis licensees, from illicit operators.
Online news reports reveal, “A similar version will be available for licensees initially launching sales in New York’s impending recreational marijuana market through delivery operations.” Currently, the market is filled with underground cannabis sales. These sales have quickly increased in New York with illegal bodegas and pop-up trucks.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams is driving this vision forward with a recently formed task force seizing 100,000 illegal products and effectively removing unlicensed operators and dispensaries.
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