PharmaCann became the first licensed medical cannabis business to enter New York’s adult-use market, with its dispensary Verilife in Albany opening its doors to recreational customers, in addition to the medical patients it was already serving.
PharmaCann is one of the nation’s largest privately held cannabis companies, encompassing the retail brands LivWell and Verilife, as well as product lines under the Magnitude, matter and P3 brands, among others. Verilife Albany opened in 2016 and received the go-ahead from state regulators to begin serving adult-use customers in December 2023.
“We are thrilled that our Verilife Albany location was the first dual-licensed cannabis dispensary in the Empire State,” PharmaCann CEO Brett Novey said in a press release. “New Yorkers have embraced Verilife with open arms, and it is our mission to serve an even wider audience as we launch adult use retail and wholesale operations.”
New York has been notoriously slow to get its adult-use market up and running, with retail sales for 2023 being on par with Connecticut, despite a population roughly 5.5 times larger.
In October, PharmaCann revealed the completion of a two-year, $130 million expansion project at its production facility in Orange County, New York, in anticipation of the growing recreational market. The renovation will increase yield by 200-300% and allow for the hiring of an additional 250 employees.
“As the New York adult-use program starts to grow … we’ll see the market increase for licit or legal, regulated products,” PharmaCann’s senior vice president of external affairs, Jeremy Unruh, told the Times Union newspaper.
The adult-use transition also makes PharmaCann the first vertically integrated multi-state operator to enter New York’s rec market, shipping wholesale products to Sacred Bloom, Gotham Buds, Good Grades and Greenery Spot, among others.
Verilife employees celebrate the store’s adult-use opening in January 2024.