Cannabis in New York State – What’s Next?

The New York State Governor “isn’t sure” if marijuana legalization will be in this year’s budget.  What does this mean?  In my opinion it is essentially is a delay tactic.  It is also a great opportunity.

Governor Cuomo promised that in the first 100 days of his third term, adult use recreational cannabis would be legal.   It seems as though he isn’t sticking to his promise.

cannabis, new york state legalization of the adult use of recreational marijuanaWill it be Legal this Year? 

I believe that Governor Cuomo will work hard to push the passage of the adult use recreational program into this legislative session, which means it would have to be passed before the end of the summer.

Why the Change?

Although Governor Cuomo thought that he could legalize cannabis in 100 days, it was not enough time for lawmakers.  According to the Governor “there is still a wide divide on the issue,” and 2-3 weeks is not enough time to close the gap.   I believe that the divide stems from how to implement the legalization of recreational cannabis, rather than a debate on whether it should be legal or not.

Where is the Opportunity?

  1.  As a state we need the lawmakers to get it right. There are many issues that still seem like they have not been addressed such as – What are the limits?  How will it be taxed? Who will oversee the program and how? Who would be allowed to sell it and where?  What is the licensing process?  The list goes on.

If they do not get it right, it could do more harm to the legalization process than good.  Therefore, continuing to entice a black market.   With more time we hope that the lawmakers take the opportunity to get it right!

  1. If you are thinking about entering the market you have more time to put your business plan together, get questions answered, and essentially be ready to apply for a license. If you have questions on how to go about this process please reach out.  We have helped many companies put a strategy into place.

Nothing with New York politics is 100% predictable, so we will have to wait and see what happens over the next couple of months.  In the meantime if this is an industry that you want to enter, my best advice is to keep planning like it will be legal this year.  Those who are prepared will have the best chance at obtaining a license.