As adult-use sales are approaching in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul introduced a cannabis dispensary verification tool Dec. 15, which will allow consumers to know they are purchasing from a state-licensed dispensary.

The verification tool is a seal that will be posted on licensed dispensary windows and will contain a QR code that says “scan to verify,” which consumers can scan to confirm the dispensaries license status. New York also plans to introduce a similar tool for cannabis delivery sales in the future, according to a press release.

Dispensaries must also have a universal symbol on all product packaging, which will help consumers verify they are purchasing regulated and tested products.

Tremaine Wright, chair of the state’s Cannabis Control Board, said having dispensary and product verification tools in place is “critical” for consumers to “know and trust that the new, legal cannabis market offers tested products and follows protocols designed to protect public health. These efforts, combined with rigorous enforcement, will help build a stable, legal marketplace.”

Moreover, the state plans to launch a public education campaign titled “Why Buy Legal New York” in Q1 of 2023, which will discuss the risks of purchasing illicit products, the benefits of purchasing regulated products from licensed dispensaries, and how buying illicit products undermine New York’s goals building the “most equitable and inclusive cannabis market in the nation,” according to the release.

“It’s critical for New York’s cannabis consumers to understand the risks of buying untested, illicit products and to have the tools to guide them to the safer, legal market that’s poised to open,” Hochul said. “These tools will help to protect public health and strengthen our ability to deliver the equitable cannabis market our law envisions. We will continue to work with our partners in municipalities across the state to enforce the law and shut down illicit operators who are selling products that put New Yorkers at risk.”