The state of Illinois has just recently legalized adult-use cannabis on New Year’s Eve of the year 2020 and it caused an economic boom. Lines upon lines of customers were seen at the many dispensaries scattered all across the state and it was reported that there is a shortage on cannabis supply now that some had to close up to restock. The profits were over the roof: millions were gained in just a day and in a week $11 million. Now that has inspired several neighboring states to propose legalization of the same cannabis products on their own. One of those is New York and Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants dibs.
The New York governor has been interested in legalizing cannabis for a while now, but was blocked. This time around he promises to make it possible and wants to add it to his budget proposal next week. This will start again his reform push in the legislature as the 2020 session is coming. Another factor for convincing the governor to push for legalization again is the new poll talking about it. The voters show overwhelming support for ending cannabis prohibition and he thinks it is time to give them what they want.
The reason why Cuomo had to drop the plan of cannabis legalization last week was that the other lawmakers could not come to an agreement on the finer points of legalization ahead of the legislative deadlines. Since there is more time now, everyone is more confident and they have the support of the citizens.
The governor’s own projections reveal that New York will receive $20 million in revenue for the 2021 fiscal year and $63 million in 2022. He also projected that by 2025, the amount will rise to $188 million.
Cuomo’s budget speech revealed that he wants to legalize adult use cannabis and this is best done in the budget. He did say this last year and now it would be the best opportunity and the budget is a perfect method for it. They will be making some tough decisions along the way and they can work through the tough issues, but it can be done in the budget, he said.
According to his office in a newly announced press release, this year the governor is proposing a comprehensive regulatory approach to make cannabis legal. He is planning to make a new Office of Cannabis Management that will specialize in cannabis regulation. It will also oversee the medical, adult-use, and hemp programs. This proposal will actually implement several things like developing an egalitarian adult-use market structure, implement social equity licensing opportunities, and manage the market entry through access to capital, technical assistance, and incubation of equity entrepreneurs.
The office of the governor also said that this proposal will finally make things right for those people and communities that were harmed by the cannabis prohibition. In order to ensure public health, it will limit the sales of cannabis to adults 21 and over and establish the best quality and safety controls. They will be monitoring the packaging, labeling, advertising, and testing of all cannabis products.
Cuomo is serious of making cannabis legal in his state and he wants to do it right.