Legalization creates one of the biggest cannabis markets in the country
With the legalization of adult-use marijuana, New York is poised to become the second largest cannabis market in the country.
According to research by the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association, New York’s cannabis industry is valued at $4.6 billion and could grow to $5.8 billion over the next five years. Tax revenue alone is projected at $350 million annually. The state plans to tax cannabis at 13 percent, with wholesalers subject to taxes based on the THC in the product.
The money generated from cannabis sales comes at a time when New York is struggling with multibillion-dollar budget deficits and trying to recover from being one of the hardest hit states during the pandemic.
Not only will legalized marijuana bring revenue to the state, it will bring jobs to the people. Experts believe the cannabis industry will create 21,000 jobs by 2023.
New York has set a target ensuring 50 percent of marijuana licenses go to underrepresented communities. The number of licenses that will be available is still to be determined by regulators and an advisory board. There will also be a path for the state’s 10 existing medical cannabis operators to become licensed for adult use in up to three of their existing dispensary locations.
In addition to ushering in adult use in the Empire State, the new bill strengthens the medical cannabis market with provisions to add additional dispensaries, patient access and more products.
While the new legislation legalizes adult-use, cities, towns and villages within the state do have the option to opt out of retail sales.
It is expected that New York’s legalization will spur surrounding states without adult-use to pass similar laws.