Should pot be sold at farmers markets?

Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 4:28 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - Should you be able to buy cannabis at your local farmers market?

The state’s Office of Cannabis Management is beginning to allow marijuana vendors set up shop alongside people selling fresh produce, drinks and homemade crafts.

Carlene Doane, executive director of Garden Share, which promotes a majority of St. Lawrence County’s farmers markets, doesn’t feel vendors should sell cannabis.

“My one big concern around farmer’s markets, it’s a community event and so families are coming there, getting access to food, shopping and we have young kids around. And so making sure our products are available for those folks and not harmful,” Doane said.

Robert Carlisle manages the Ogdensburg Farmer’s Market and is open to cannabis being sold there. Carlisle said people have already talked to him about it.

“We’ve discussed it before. There are people who seem eager to have it here. We are waiting for the final approval for when those sales are going to be okay for the market. It’s just something that individual vendors will have and not myself,” he said.

Doane argues local governments should also have a say in whether or not cannabis is sold at farmers markets within their communities.

“Farmers markets in St. Lawrence County have advisory boards and so discussing with them, what they feel is- Looking at other vendors, what their opinions are too, so there are a lot of pieces we’d need to take into consideration,” Doane said.

At least one farmers market in the state, in the Albany area, has announced marijuana will be sold for the next 10 weeks.

In addition, the state is allowing marijuana-specific farmers markets this summer and fall, including oner next to the New York State Fair.

State officials have said the program would include concerts, fairs and festivals as well.