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New York Cannabis Bill Heads To Cuomo’s Desk

March 31, 2021

Following marathon sessions yesterday, the Cannabis/Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act now awaits governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature as the only step remaining to legalize recreational cannabis in New York State. After clearing three committees yesterday, the bill went to full floor votes in both the state Assembly and Senate, where debate proceeded without break until the bill was voted through. The process took seven hours in the Assembly, wrapping up just after 10:30pm.

The law goes into effect immediately upon signing, meaning it will be legal to carry up to three ounces of cannabis on one’s person and police may not conduct searches based on its smell alone. It’s expected that it will take around a year to fully establish a retail sales regime, license businesses, and open them to the public, setting the stage for sales to begin in the Empire State in spring 2022.

Demand in New York is expected to be massive: a report by MPG Consulting prepared for the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association projects that the state’s regulated market could reach $1.2 billion as early as 2023 and reach $4.2 billion by 2027. Moreover, New York’s legalization—coupled with that of New Jersey—further heightens the cannabis movement’s momentum in the Northeast, where Massachusetts and Maine already have adult-use markets and Connecticut is moving toward legalization as well.

SND Cannabis Edition has more on the specifics of the bill and its significance for the wider cannabis industry landscape.—Danny Sullivan

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