A popular New York City Trend is starting to make its way upstate. Delis have begun popping up around the state but not all of them are only selling meats.
Some of these shops act almost as convenience stores, with a small number of groceries that you would find at just about any other store in the area, but some of them also deal in cannabis to boot.
This has managed to cause some minor controversy.
There have been growing concerns among medical dispensaries that people who use cannabis for medicinal purposes may veer away from what they get with their medical cards and may instead begin to shop at these new stores which are selling products that are technically meant for recreational purposes. Furthermore, it has been a cause for concern in some communities seeing multiple of these stores going up in small towns and the implications and consequences that could have for the community.
There is additional concern over how these store's presentations could be seen in the eyes of minors, in particular those who are younger than 12. Some of these shops opening up are advertising their products with mascots and characters popular with children. These characters are most often represented either straight-up doing marijuana or have appearances associated with the effects of being high, such as bloodshot eyes and calm demeanors.
Many Central New York residents have their own opinions. One Syracuse resident stated,
"Honestly, I think the cannabis industry can be dangerous. I see 'mobile dispensaries' popping up as well as small mom-and-pop shops and I get scared because what kind of regulatory agency oversees these places? How do we know what we're being sold is safe? How do they stop teens from accessing weed from their stores?"