fbpx
QQQ
-2.49
316.84
-0.79%
DIA
-2.00
312.11
-0.64%
SPY
-2.91
381.49
-0.77%
TLT
+ 0.60
150.62
+ 0.4%
GLD
-2.07
175.30
-1.19%

Cannabis May Become Legal In New York With Gov. Cuomo's 'Equitable Adult-Use Program' Proposal

January 6, 2021 4:55 pm
Share to Linkedin Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Print License More
Cannabis May Become Legal In New York With Gov. Cuomo's 'Equitable Adult-Use Program' Proposal

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday his proposal for a legal cannabis program across New York State.

The plan calls for a new Office of Cannabis Management. This group would oversee a nascent recreational program as well as New York's current medical marijuana program.

The proposal, according to the Governor's press office, would allow adults over the age of 21 to buy marijuana at state-approved dispensaries.

The goal is to generate roughly $300 million in tax revenue from the legalization effort and bolster state coffers, which took a hit due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The news also bodes well for several mutli-state operators, or MSOs, that do business in New York. They include:

  • Cresco Labs (OTCQX:CRLBF), which has at least four New York-based dispensaries under the Sunnyside banner. It also has the right to operate one cultivation facility.
  • Columbia Care Inc. (OTCQX:CCHWF), which also owns four New York dispensaries.
  • Acreage Holdings (OTCQX:ACRDF), which is based in New York and has four brands under its umbrella, including the Botanist, Prime, Natural Wonder and Live Resin Project. 

Past Efforts

Adult-use cannabis legislation was in the works in 2019 but failed to pass due to a series of legislative hurdles and revenue allotment. That year, Cuomo signed a bill that decriminalized cannabis use in New York, reducing unlawful possession to a finable offense.

The bill also removed all criminal penalties for possession of two ounces or less of marijuana. The bill also established an expungement process for marijuana offenses for possession of small amounts.

The move was geared toward helping communities of color that have been "disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana," Cuomo said at the time. “By providing individuals who have suffered the consequences of an unfair marijuana conviction with a path to have their records expunged and by reducing draconian penalties, we are taking a critical step forward in addressing a broken and discriminatory criminal justice process."

Where We Are Now

Under the current medical cannabis program, New York has "one of the most restrictive programs in the nation and access is severely limited." That's according to Gretchen Schmidt, faculty program director of criminal justice programs at Excelsior College in Albany, who spoke to Benzinga in August 2020.

The lack of dispensaries across the state impacts access, especially in rural areas, she explained.

"The highly regulated nature of the state also increases price, in part driven by costly production involved in meeting the state’s medical quality standards, but also the lack of demand caused by hurdles to patient certification," she said.

What's Next?

Cuomo is expected to discuss the recreational cannabis program at length during his annual State of the State on Jan. 11.

The event, Cuomo’s 11th, will be virtual, and lay out his goals for the upcoming legislative session.

Related Links:

New York Same-Day Medical Marijuana Delivery Is A Reality

New York Governor Signs Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana Possession 


Related Articles

Michigan Cannabis Sales Near $1B In First Year Of Adult-Use Sales

Cannabis sales in Michigan spiked during December, bringing the total to $984.6 million for 2020. read more

Cantor Analyst Raises Aphria And Tilray Price Targets Amid Merger

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic expressed disappointment by Aphria Inc. (TSX: APHA) (NASDAQ: APHA) quarterly results in an analyst note published Friday. read more

Cannabis Movers & Shakers: Next Green, Cannabis Control Commission, Willow, TruTrace, HEXO, Bengal Capital, MediPharm Labs, NIHC

Here is a summary of the latest leadership changes within the cannabis industry. read more

French Energy Firm Backs Hemp-Fueled Gas Plant With $23M

French energy company Qairos Energies is financing a project that will use locally grown hemp for the production of hydrogen and methane, according to HempToday. read more

Jay-Z Touts 'End Of Cannabis Prohibition' As Roc Nation Finalizes SPAC Deal With Caliva, Left Coast Ventures

A consortium made up of CMG Partners Inc., Left Coast Ventures Inc. and Shawn Carter (Jay-Z) —with his company Roc Nation — has finalized its previously announced transaction with Subversive Capital Acquisition Corp. (OTCQX: SBVCF). read more