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Why 'Legacy Market' Could Change Everything for New York Cannabis

Hey there, cannabis enthusiasts! As New York State moves forward with legalizing cannabis, there's an important issue we need to chat about: how we talk about different parts of the cannabis market. The words we use can shape how people see this new industry, and it's crucial to get it right.

Man standing at table with cannabis products
Finger Lakes CannaMarket

The Power of Words

When the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and other officials talk about cannabis, they often use terms like "legal market" and "illegal market." This black-and-white way of talking doesn't really show the whole picture. Calling it the "black market" makes it sound shady and stigmatizes the people who have been involved in cannabis long before it was legal.

Legacy vs. New Market

A better way to describe these markets is "legacy market" and "new market." The legacy market includes people who have been growing, selling, and supporting cannabis since way back in 1937. These folks were there long before legalization and helped pave the way for today's industry and create the cannabis community that the government wants to take advantage of. The new market, which is less than four years old, includes the businesses that started up after cannabis became legal in New York.

Understanding Market Dynamics

It's important to understand why people still support the legacy market. Many customers stick with legacy sellers because they trust them and know their products. Switching to a legal market means more than just following new rules; it means finding a way to connect the old and new businesses. Talking about the legacy and new markets helps us appreciate the history of cannabis and creates a more welcoming story.

Moving Forward

For the legal cannabis market to do well, New York State needs to help legacy operators join the legal side. This isn't just about making new rules; it's about giving these businesses the tools they need to succeed, like financial help and public education. Using terms like "legacy market" instead of "black market" shows respect and makes the cannabis community stronger.

By talking about the "legacy market" and the "new market," we can change how people think about cannabis. This helps reduce stigma and promotes a more inclusive conversation. It also supports the legacy operators who have been part of the cannabis world for so long.


As New York State builds its legal cannabis industry, it's important to remember the power of words. By using respectful and inclusive terms, we can honor the past and create a better future for everyone involved in cannabis. Let's make the switch from "illegal" and "black market" to "legacy market." It's a small change that makes a big difference, celebrating the history and supporting a bright future for cannabis.

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