Cannabis in New York is a newly legalized market, but it has been evolving for years.
In the past, cannabis was only legal for medical purposes, and those who wanted to use it recreationally had to move out of state. But now, with recreational legalization in place and more states following suit, there’s a lot to look forward to!
Cannabis Legalization in New York: What’s Happening?
Starting in 2022, New York is set to offer cannabis and cbd for adult use. However, possession is allowed for cannabis consumers 21 years or older. But at this point, New Yorkers are still in limbo: there are no legal adult-use cannabis businesses operating within the state.
To get a sense of what’s happening, we need to take a look at neighboring states—particularly Massachusetts and Vermont. Both have legalized recreational use.
The Green Mountain State has both types of legalization (they were among the first group of four). As such, it provides one with an interesting case study for New York as the state prepares to institute its own version next year.
To give us some idea about how this is going so far, Vermonters can purchase up to an ounce per transaction from licensed dispensaries statewide without paying sales tax or any other additional taxes on top (although medical patients will be exempt from the limits).
Massachusetts residents can purchase up to an ounce per transaction from licensed dispensaries statewide without paying sales tax or any other additional taxes on top. In this case, too, medical patients are exempt from these limits.
In addition, all recreational cannabis products sold here must go through a point-of-sale system that checks for age and identification. There are very few exemptions made. For example, you can’t buy more than one ounce of flower at a time if your out-of-state ID is expired or has been revoked; and when purchasing edibles, no more than five units may be purchased by customers who appear less than 25 years old.
In both instances, there is considerable evidence suggesting adult-use legality is working. And it’s safe to say it will work to establish a strong market in New York.
Northstar reports that New York will have a 13% sales tax on cannabis products. This will include 9% dedicated to the state and another 4% to the local municipalities. There will also be an excise tax connected to the amount of THC in each product.
Tax revenue is expected to go towards education, social equity fund, and drug-education programs.
New York’s Recreational Cannabis Legalization Bill Contents
- Cannabis is legal for people who are at least 21 years old.
- Adults can have up to 3 ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of cannabis concentrate on them at a time.
- In New York, people are allowed to grow up to three plants per person and six plants per household. This is important for equity because many people don’t have the money to buy from pricey dispensaries.
- New York will make a 13% tax on all cannabis products. Nine percent of that will go to the state, and four percent will go to the localities. The governor’s office thinks it will raise about $350 million in taxes each year when it is working fully.
- The state will open an office to oversee recreational and medical marijuana. This office will have five people on the board – three appointed by the governor, and one each appointed by the state Senate and Assembly.
- The Oregon Cannabis Management Commission will use a two-tier licensing program to oversee who can grow, sell, and process cannabis. The commission still hasn’t offered information regarding how many licenses they will give out.
- The state will allow cannabis delivery and consumption sites. But no alcohol will be sold at these sites.
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