No matter where you stand on the issue of cannabis legalization, the fact is that it’s happening. In 2022 and beyond, cannabis will be more accessible than ever before. The question is: how will legalization affect New Yorkers? There are many ways to answer this question, but let’s give you a quick summary of what has happened so far.
If you were not living under a rock, you probably would already know that on 22 February 2022 Governor Kathy Hochul signed the bill S.8084-A/A.9283-A for New York Cannabis license which allowed eligible businesses to apply for certain adult-use cannabis licenses which will allow them to be in the Cannabis adult-use cannabis business that has more than 0.3% THC.
Conditional Adult Use Cultivator License
New York Cannabis legalization started with a Cultivator license. In fact, we have come across a dedicated post that discusses the entire process, check it here – New York Cannabis license for cultivators. The last date for the application was 30 June 2022. The only condition was the businesses who would apply, have to be existing hemp growers. In total 242 licenses were given, i.e. 242 businesses can now cultivate cannabis for recreational purposes that would have more than 0.3% THC.
Conditional Adult Use Processor License
After the cultivator license, the CCB board announced that they would start taking processor license applications too, the deadline of the same is 31st August 2022. Check this page, New York Cannabis license for processors, where the entire step-by-step process has been mentioned. So far 15 businesses have been given the license.
Just like the cultivator license, for this license too, Govt. only allowed applications from existing hemp processors. Interestingly we have also noticed the CCB also asked to provide a GMP Audit report at the time of submitting the application itself, this reinstates the importance of GMP for the New York Cannabis business.
Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary License
The third leg in legalizing Adult-Use Cannabis is opening the application period for the Retail dispensary license. It is supposed to open from August 25th onwards and we have a dedicated blog on this topic, you might want to check that out, New York CAURD License Application: What you need to know!
The future of Cannabis legalization in New York
When it comes to New York Cannabis license, there are a few issues that have been more contentious than the definition of “recreational use.” While some states have defined recreational use as anything that does not fit the definition of medical use, others have taken a stricter approach. In California and Colorado, for example, medical and recreational users can’t share their products with one another because they are considered to be different from each other—even though both are legal under state law.
The advantages for the Government
- Reduced prison populations since people will no longer be arrested at higher rates. In Q1 and Q2 68 people have already been arrested for Cannabis offenses as per NYC Govt. We expect this number to go lower post Cannabis legalization.
- Less money is spent on enforcement and prosecution processes since courts won’t need as many judges or prosecutors.
- Job creation opportunities within the industry as well as associated businesses like marketing firms.
The advantages for the economy
- The impact on the tax revenue will be huge. In just two years the total tax revenue from all the states for Cannabis businesses has doubled (2019 – $1.7 B, 2021 – $3.7 B). Once New York starts adding to that, which is the third largest economy in the country, it will surely go to the next level. Experts are expecting $350 million in tax revenue from New York alone.
- Legalizing Cannabis will open a new industry altogether and it is estimated that eventually, this business will generate $3.5 Billion in a year in economic activity for the state.
The advantages from a Health point of view
- Legalization could allow researchers to study whether there are any health benefits associated with using marijuana in lieu of prescription medications like opioids which have proven highly addictive.
- Possession of Cannabis in New York was decriminalized on March 2021 (with some limitations). But now, since the Cannabis business is also legalized, all the regulations enforced by the government with respect to quality control and consumer protection will reduce the risk of cannabis consumption.
As per the report, 18% of the adult population in New York uses Cannabis.
As Cannabis businesses become legal in New York state, we can expect this number to go higher. This will completely transform the industry and who knows, one day, Cannabis might become legal federally too. If that happens, all the cannabis businesses can also be listed on the NYSE and that will again be a new boom for the industry as well as the country. But for the time being, legalizing cannabis in New York is definitely a positive movement and we would like to congratulate all the businesses that have got the New York Cannabis license.