New York


NY can lead the nation with equitable marijuana legalization | Opinion

cityscape skyline of new york, with the statue of liberty in the forefront

With newly installed Democratic supermajorities in both houses of the state legislature and a governor who has signaled his unequivocal support this week, many believe it is a foregone conclusion that New York will finally join other states in responsibly regulating marijuana use this year. That’s welcome news, and it’s long overdue. But it’s also abundantly clear that getting it done is not the same as getting it right.


Gov. Cuomo Announces Proposal to Legalize Marijuana in New York

Gov. Cuomo at a press conference

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that he will introduce a proposal that would finally legalize marijuana in New York state.

“I’m announcing a proposal to legalize cannabis and create an equitable adult-use cannabis program in NYS,” Cuomo tweeted Wednesday. “This program will generate much-needed revenue, while allowing us to support those that have been most harmed by decades of failed cannabis prohibition.”


Governor of New York Announces Proposal To Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis

close up of cannabis blunts piled on top of eachother

Will 2021 finally be the year that New York embraces marijuana legalization? Wednesday’s announcement from the state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, qualified as an encouraging development—though New Yorkers probably shouldn’t start dreaming of dispensaries in the East Village just yet. 

In a statement, the Democratic stalwart said he is prepared to unveil “a proposal to legalize cannabis and create an equitable adult-use cannabis program in [New York state],” a program he said would “generate much-needed revenue, while allowing us to support those that have been most harmed by decades of failed cannabis prohibition.” 


Legal Cannabis Delivery Companies Thrive Amid Pandemic By Co-Opting Illicit Dealers’ Business Model

a van with a marijuana sticker on it

Every Sunday, EZ’s Dispensary sends its weekly menu of bud via text message, offering strains like AK-47 and Girl Scout Cookies, to thousands of people in New York City. Customers respond with their order—quarter, half, full ounce—and their address. Pretty soon, a dealer in a rental car pulls up to complete the sale.


Marijuana legalization looms in New York as deficit balloons

up close shot of marijuana plant

The debate over legalizing marijuana for adult, recreational use in New York has been brewing for the last two years after Democrats took control of the state Legislature, but disagreements on the issue coupled with a global pandemic have kept it out of reach for lawmakers.

That could change next year as the Legislature returns to Albany, but Democrats still remain divided on certain aspects of the issue that are likely to complicate negotiations.

Chief among them is what the state will do with the tax revenue from the marijuana industry, which is expected to generate around $300 million annually when the program is stabilized, according to projections from the state.


Can the Hemp Business Survive?

Man with marijuana display in store


Soaps, deodorant, beard oil, pain relievers, lotion, hand sanitizer and an anti-anxiety tincture for pets.

The array of products Grant McCabe creates using oil extracted from hemp he grows on a Marlboro farm to sell in his Beacon shop, The Leaf, could soon have an imprimatur: New York-certified.

Last month, the state Department of Health unveiled proposed regulations governing how the plant is processed to extract cannabidiol oil (CBD) and other cannabinoid substances from its leaves and flowers. The proposals would set standards for products sold by retailers, including food and drinks.

But the regulations also would ban the sale of the smokable flower, or bud, of the plant, which retailers say is where they make most of their profits.


New York Might Be Late To Legalization, But It Can Still Lead


If New York wants to try to retain its national reputation as a progressive leader, it should pass a law centered around promoting social justice.

Although New York led the country on cannabis decriminalization in the 1970s and the repeal of alcohol prohibition in the 1930s, the Empire State has been embarrassingly slow to fully legalize cannabis this century. This is despite having overwhelming public support, a thriving illicit market, and a large cannabis delivery infrastructure already built. Now, with New Jersey voters amending the state constitution to legalize recreational cannabis, neighboring states like New York and Pennsylvania will have no choice but to look closely at regulation themselves if they want to avoid falling behind.  


Cannabis Legalization in New York: Déjà vu All Over Again?

Marijuana Leaf held in air


They say three times is a charm.

There are signs that the state legislature and Governor Cuomo will try, for a third time, to pass legislation approving recreational marijuana in the next session, which begins in January.

Four new states, including New Jersey, passed legalization measures on Election Day, which means New York is surrounded on three sides by states that have opened new markets, or will be opening one soon. Plus, a glance at the state’s enormous out-year budget gaps would make even faithful followers of Nancy Reagan’s "Just Say No" campaign reconsider their position.

There are estimates that legalizing recreational cannabis in New York could bring in $300 million in revenue, annually.

But don’t hold your breath.


New York Governor Indicates State Will Legalize Recreational Marijuana This Year

In an interview with WAMC Northeast Public Radio on Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that legalizing recreational marijuana in New York is very possible and could even happen soon.

"I think that this year [recreational legalization] is ripe because the state is going to be in desperate need of revenue."

He added, "I think the pressure is going to be on because we are going to need the money so badly, and you have such a [budget] gap now, I think it's going to be an easier conversation."


Cannabis shares hit session highs after Cuomo promises N.Y. legalization

Commodities Aphria shares climb after announcing US$300M deal for U.S. brewer

Shares of Canadian pot giant Aphria rose on Thursday, a day after the company announced plans to enter the U.S. market with the purchase of SweetWater Brewing for US$300 million in cash and stock. BNN Bloomberg's David George-Cosh has the details.

Cannabis companies rallied on Thursday, reversing a slump the day before, on renewed optimism over the lifting of restrictions on marijuana sales in five states this week.


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