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Pot Sales Approved for Events in New York

The change comes after farmers complained there are too few dispensaries.

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AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File

NEW YORK (AP) — Marijuana can legally be sold at festivals and other events in New York under a measure approved by state regulators Wednesday, after farmers complained that there are too few dispensaries to sell what they harvest.

The initiative approved by the Cannabis Control Board will allow three or more growers to partner with retailers for consumer sales outside of dispensaries at adult-oriented, locally sanctioned events.

The partnerships can also include a processor, who will be able to sell products like edibles and vape cartridges.

Municipal approval will be required.

Pot farmers around New York have said they entered this growing season still stockpiling marijuana from last year because the state has been opening stores too slowly. Twenty licensed retailers are currently open statewide, and more than 40 more are in development, according to regulators.

"We certainly heard from our cultivators the urgency of a program like this to expand their retail sell-through opportunities," said John Kagia, a top state marijuana policy official.

Officials said the measure also will give consumers legal access to marijuana in areas that have no dispensaries.

The initiative is among a series of moves by regulators to shore up the state's nascent recreational pot market. They've also begun cracking down on unlicensed operations that are competing with aboveboard shops, especially in New York City.

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