By Meghan Taylor

Photo Credits: Getty Images

With the many recent legalizations of cannabis products throughout New York State it is
important to stay up to date on the ins and outs of this new market. There are plenty of shops
that offer marijuana and other THC products, but not all are dispensaries. In fact, many are
being threatened with eviction for unlawful cannabis sales in New York.

Although the lower prices might be tempting from these shops, it is essential to know precisely
what is in the products you are buying. Fatal overdoses are sweeping over new york. In New
York City more than 3000 fatal overdoses occurred from July 2021 to July 2022, 80% of these
would end up being due to fentanyl. This drug is an opioid commonly found in the illegal drug
market and it is often used to lace cannabis. It is very strong, a microscopic amount can be
enough to cause an overdose. But how can this situation be fixed?

The legalization of marijuana in New York State can allow for the possibility of a solution to the
fentanyl crisis. Legal dispensaries are highly monitored in order to assure customers of pure
products. But this will not change immediately. When asked if they will switch to a dispensary
when they are more readily available consumers many times say no. This is often due to price
or ease of access in their neighborhoods.

Similar results came from asking illegal store owners if they were getting their licenses in order
to sell and stay in the business legally. One owner said “The process is expensive and lengthy. I
know people that will still come to me over the dispensaries so what’s the point?” This argument
can seem valid, but it proposes many risks.

Regulation can seem overbearing to some, but it does have its rewards. Opiate-related deaths
were significantly lowered in states after medical marijuana was legalized. The death rates from
this opioid epidemic plummeted by about 33% in the states that had legalized marijuana for
medical use. This is due to cannabis being prescribed as a pain reliever over highly addictive
opiates. With recreational marijuana becoming legalized in more states you can expect this
statistic to continue improving.

How can you get involved? Niagara County Community College offers a horticulture program
dedicated to teaching the next generation about how to grow, process, and provide for this
up-and-coming pursuit of legal cannabis. Knowledge is important for change and understanding
in this world, with the many events that happen in Western New York it is easy to stay up to date
on new cannabis laws.

I highly encourage people to attend conferences and showcases about the cannabis industry,
even if they know virtually nothing. It really opens your eyes and helps to expand your mind.
Marijuana Moment is a news source that can help you stay up to date on all of the cannabis
news, it can be found here:

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