New York cannabis farmers’ markets are now a thing. The State’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has created a category called “Cannabis Growers Showcase.” This will allow farmers to sell their crops at cannabis-centric farmers’ markets.

The OCM’s control board passed the measure on Wednesday. They also approved 212 new retail licenses and banned the sale of synthetic cannabinoids, including hemp-derived delta-8 THC.

The rationale for New York cannabis farmers’ markets is three-fold. Growers have a supply glut, consumers want greater access to legal cannabis, and the OCM’s dispensary licensing is bureaucratic and slow.

Therefore, legal farmers markets. Or “showcases,” as the cannabis busybodies don’t want to confuse the plebs by calling it what it is.

New York cannabis farmers’ markets.

New York Cannabis Farmers’ Markets: How it Works

New York Cannabis Farmers' Markets

How do these New York cannabis farmers’ markets work? It’s not as simple as setting up a table at your local farmers market and selling homegrown weed in mason jars.

For one, these cannabis “showcases” are separate from your average farmers market.

Second, there are regulations involved. According to the OCM, to apply for a “showcase,” you must have at least one retailer (to authorize the sales) and three growers.

Cannabis farmers can bring their crops and other products to showcase. But all authorized sales have to go through the retailer.

As mentioned, the rationale is to increase legal spaces where people can buy cannabis. But, the OCM points out, if a local area has banned cannabis retail, then applying for a “showcase” is a non-starter.

And these New York cannabis farmers’ markets are unlikely to be out in the open, like your average farmers market. Instead, the OCM envisions gatherings on cannabis farms, processing plants, and dispensaries.

So essentially, New York cannabis farmers markets, called “showcases,” are licenses to party.

Pros and Cons

New York Cannabis Farmers' Markets

New York cannabis farmers markets, or “showcases,” have their pros and cons. The pros are obvious.

As the Chief Equity Officer of OCM said:

“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. 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.”

Of course, the local unlicensed farmer serves some communities. Not every cannabis farmer is involved in violent, organized crime. Some are simply farmers serving patients and customers.

And for whatever reason, whether financial or bureaucratic, the OCM prevents them from getting licensed.

These are the forgotten connoisseurs of the cannabis trade. These peaceful groups of vendors and farmers are more prominent in some areas than others. But many of New York’s “illegal” cannabis entrepreneurs fall into this category.

Wherever there exists a government-monopoly issuing cannabis licenses, the system abandons a group of entrepreneurs. Especially in jurisdictions where the barriers to access are high.

New York Cannabis Farmers’ Markets: How it Should Work

New York Cannabis Farmers' Markets

New York cannabis farmers’ markets should work as regular farmers’ markets do. 

Granted, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) oversees the state’s farmers’ markets. But it is undoubtedly more laissez-faire than the OCM’s “showcases.” 

Of course, in time, the rules may loosen. Eventually, the OCM may give way to fewer restrictions. But in the meantime, the OCM has to justify their existence.

Which is the problem with government regulators. No competition from the private sector and no way of going bankrupt. Often, large industries capture these regulatory institutions. Pharma controls the FDA. Wall Street controls the SEC. Oil controls the EPA.

It’s called regulatory capture. And the only way out is to limit the scope and power of these government regulators. Or eliminate them entirely.

Regulation happens naturally. Entrepreneurs regulate each other by competing for consumers. Consumers regulate entrepreneurs by patronizing different competitors.

The only way to profit – absent government privileges – is by exchanging goods and services with people. Like quality cannabis at a New York cannabis farmers’ market.

But suppose you feel ripped off from your purchase. A dispute arises. Fortunately, people have been trading for centuries, and we’ve managed to get by without large government regulators.

In the past, we used Anglo-American common law as it arose from actual cases and settlements.

In the Western legal tradition, laws were procedural. Politicians didn’t preemptively create new rules and then empower expensive bureaucracies to enforce them.

New York Cannabis Farmers’ Markets: A Bastardization of the Real Thing

Historical evidence does not support the conclusion that only governments can regulate private industry. In fact, recent history indicates the opposite. 

The unholy alliance of big business and big government results from powerful government regulators handicapping small businesses and rewarding their crony friends.

A New York cannabis farmers’ market needs nothing more than the approval of a property owner to host the “showcase” and vendor liability insurance.

Anything else is wasteful bureaucratic nonsense. Designed to bankrupt the little guy while insulating the corporations who can afford it.