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California And New York State Officials Tell People To Buy Marijuana On Black Friday



Marijuana regulators in California and New York are encouraging people to take advantage of Black Friday deals and support small businesses by shopping for cannabis at licensed retailers.

As companies promote savings on the post-Thanksgiving sales occasion, both the California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) and the New York Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) shared posts on Friday to help people find marijuana from authorized venders.

“Don’t follow the hordes of shoppers today!” California’s DCC said. “This Friday shop smart, shop licensed cannabis.”

The New York OCM, meanwhile, shared a video of Empire State Development Commissioner Hope Knight, who also serves on the state Cannabis Control Board (CCB), urging consumers to support small and local businesses this weekend to “sustain jobs and generate regional economic growth.” That same sentiment applies to the marijuana market, regulators said.

“While you grab some #BlackFriday deals, take a note from #NYCCB member, Hope Knight and support #SmallBusinessSaturdays at one of your local dispensaries,” they said.

As state marijuana industries have continued to emerge and mature, officials have increasingly used their platforms to encourage people to transition away from illicit markets and toward licensed retailers where products are regulated, taxed and tested for quality.

The Black Friday promotion from California and New York represents another example of how that line of messaging is being normalized. Both posts include links so that people can find licensed dispensaries nearest them.

Earlier this year before the cannabis holiday 4/20, New York’s governor announced the launch of a public education campaign meant to encourage adults to buy their marijuana from licensed shops to ensure that products are safe and that revenue is used to advance equity and reinvestment goals.

Also, ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in Connecticut, officials clarified that marijuana businesses could remain open on Thursday—unlike establishments selling alcohol, which was prohibited for the day.

During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, meanwhile, several states ensured that cannabis businesses could continue to serve patients and customers even as various other businesses were temporarily shuttered or restricted.

While officials in California and New York are urging people to shop for marijuana locally, that can be easier said than done in jurisdictions throughout both states. Many California cities and counties ban retailers from operating in their area, contributing to the ongoing presence of the illicit market. And finding cannabis shops in New York can still be challenging given the state’s slow licensing rollout.

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