Checking in with Carl Anderson: How to sell legal weed in New York.

A month ago, NY Cannabis Insider began keeping tabs on Carl Anderson, a first-round winner of a conditional adult-use retail license, as he began his journey by navigating the evolving cannabis retail landscape in New York.

In the first article, Anderson shared his struggles, ongoing questions, and frustration with the regulations and logistics of state rollout — in addition to his hopes and plans.

Related: A candid conversation with an anonymous winner of a marijuana retail license in New York

Having recently completed DASNY’s training in New York City in January, Anderson returned to NY Cannabis Insider for an update. The following questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.

How did the DASNY training go?

It was cool. It was good. They brought in Dutchie to discuss the point of sale system and give some background on how an actual pharmacy works. They conducted it from Bleecker Street, which was designated as the location for one of the people involved in the judiciary.


Yes, made up. The expansion was still taking place when we took classes.

I still think there is a gap between the OCM and DASNY. That was clear. You know, one is law and one is money. And what drives the law, unfortunately, is money. You know what I mean? It’s one of those situations.

They let us know that on February 14th they were pretty sure they had 25 leases in place by that point. which is cool. They definitely had people coming out and showing their faces, Chris Webber came over. Bill Thompson came by. So a few people came by to show face, to show support. Let you know they supported you. Those were all good things.

They definitely reinforced the fact that you can find a website yourself. However, if the fund does not sign the lease, you will not be able to participate in the fund’s resources. So the only way to get involved in the fund is to have the fund come out and sign the lease for you.

To the right. As I understand it you could go out and find a spot but then you have to inform DASNY about the spot and then it’s up to them to get it?

To participate in the fund. Now you can have your own money and DASNY has yet to come out and approve your website. Therefore, the approval of DASNY is required in any case.

The site verification is the most important part. I know some people submitted websites but didn’t get any responses back and stuff like that. So that was the biggest hurdle at that point because you can’t really move forward until you have a DASNY approved site.

Related: Carl Anderson’s start as a pharmacy owner

They secure spots that — I mean, if they all look like the smacked spot, then it’s bigger than 3,000 to 4,000 square feet. So they definitely give the energy and presentation they wanted to make a splash. They’re not looking for something small, they want to make sure your presence is known. So I guess we’re going to see a lot with the launch of Smacked because he’s going to be the first person to deal with the judiciary that took the DASNY funds as far as I know.

Did you say anything about the cost? For example, if you get this 4,000 square foot pharmacy – what are the loan terms, conditions, etc.?

By the age of 10 it was always 10%. But the actual costs really depend on the individual case. Because something like Smacked is going to cost a lot different than something that’s in the inner parts of Queens, even if it’s in a higher frequency range, you can’t expect them to pay the same amount. It all depends on the build, and that build depends a lot on what the person in charge of justice chooses as a layout, what materials are used, etc., so I guess that’s going to be a really individual thing.

But they didn’t set a maximum. And they haven’t given us any predictions as to what that Smacked build will cost – unless I missed it, but I don’t recall hearing that part.

Has the DASNY training influenced or shaped you in any way regarding your next steps for retail or delivery?

I would not say that. I think the business model stays the business model if you choose to use DASNY funds. If you go outside of that… but the reality is, outside of that, you’re probably going to need some extra money, right? Because then you have operating costs, you have to have your supplies, you have to have your staff. DASNY doesn’t give you any money for this – it all has to come from your pocket. And of course nobody in the room is borrowing, so you’re either taking a hefty price – like hard money – out there that comes with a percentage number, or you’re basically losing your shirt for going out of business.

You should probably see it a little differently. You know what I mean? I understand what they’re trying to do, but when it comes to having law enforcement people around, you don’t want them losing their shirts trying to make a deal with an MSO trying to get you you know, coming first dips into Manhattan and ready to use you, you know what I mean?

Basically a deal that takes you out of your percentage. I think that’s a realistic thing they need to at least pay attention to. But that aside, they also selected business owners who they felt had some kind of business background and at least knew how to turn around some money in the absence of better terms. So I assume that was an initial thought process.

Is that the scope of the training? Are you doing more soon?

I assume they will be doing this training as regularly as possible as of course they are not rolling out all 36 retailers at the same time. These will be phased rollouts. Once Smacked is involved and they get their numbers and how they’re going and DASNY is trying to give other people their opens or at least their buildouts, I’m sure this will be a phased process throughout 2023.

I think it’s going to really matter who came out first because the nonprofit was really the first to come out. I think that was more of a political thing and more of a pressure point for the state. You know – they made certain promises and… you know what I mean? They wanted to keep that promise. I’m speculating – I don’t know from reality, but, you know, the writing is on the wall.

I think they’re going to take a little more time and consideration with the people involved in the judiciary because we clearly didn’t come with that kind of substantial support – unless you already had a multi-million dollar business. And I don’t know if any of us that got in — the 36 of us — did. You may have had good business, but not a million-dollar business.

And people basically sell half their business just to get in, you know what I mean? And that gives it to predatory lending and all the rest of it. And DASNY – I don’t know if they offer any legal services like contract review. All of this is at the expense of the judiciary. And even though a lot of us are business owners, a lot of us just connected with a business owner and got licensed that way, but at the same time – I don’t know how many people are aware of that. I can’t speak for everyone. I can speak for myself. I know I’m very careful not to sell the store just to do business. But I think that’s a realistic possibility.

Let me say this: I don’t want to sound like a downer. I’m very optimistic. As I said in the first article, there is clearly a win here, but is it a win that is first year, second year? No, I think it’s probably three to five years before you see a meaningful win for us.

So where are you in the next two to three weeks? What are you trying to achieve now?

I’m actually going to have surgery, so I’ll be offline for the next two to three weeks. But I’m very aware that I’m in no rush to get to market – I’m in no rush to stumble upon myself just to get to market. I’ll take my time, pay attention to what DASNY is doing, edit the angles, put some LOIs in place.

The lab tests – that hole there prevents you from actually having tested products, even taking samples to even understand who your suppliers are. So these LOIs get a little more sketchy because they really depend on who has tested products available to sample.

Statistics will show that the money makers are the processed stuff, right? The oils and edibles. Don’t get me wrong, flowers are good, but your mainstay—and what you’ll be making money on—are probably these edibles and oils. That’s a big part of it, you have to be able to see patterns, understand how these processors work, where their products come from – that’s a big part of it.

I hope to get my first delivery by April 20th. to have and until 10.07. to be open. That is my goal at this point. So again, like I said, I’m in no rush to get to market. I pay a lot of attention to certain parameters that are there right now and that they can change a lot and where the money is coming from and things like that.

But as long as I can open until 7/10 I’m in a happy place.

Do you already have a name for your company?

Mad city of Canna. Oh man, did I never tell you that?