New York continues to struggle with legal weed

New York is one of the most liberal, populous, and visited cities in the United States, yet New York continues to struggle with legal weed

The Big Apple has some amazing things to offer, including the Metropolitan Museum, condos worth over $75 million, deli sandwiches that will make your heart beat faster, and a creative community like no other. But it seems they can't get their act together to sell marijuana. New York continues to struggle with legal weed, but is trying to put a positive spin on it.

Cannabis has been legal under New York law for medical purposes since 2016 and for recreational purposes since 2021. But thanks to state officials, the way legalization was rolled out is robbing New York of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. New York laid out a clear path, including a way for medical pharmacies to switch to fully legal measures, and then scrapped everything at the last minute and opted for a completely different version. The lack of clear and timely regulations and a complex application process have resulted in fewer than 100 legal pharmacies open, but over 1,500 unlicensed pharmacies open in New York City alone.

RELATED: Science Says Medical Marijuana Improves Quality of Life

New York's Office of Cannabis Management plans to approve 100 new legal licenses after just a few months of debate. But the bureaucrats in New York have an answer to really make just one more small part happy – allow more home growing! They admit they can't really police the majority of unlicensed retailers who make millions. So let's focus on the few home growers who are never really considered.

There is still no clarity about home cultivation in the state, but now it is becoming clearer. For home cultivation regulations developed by the Office of Cannabis Management and submitted to the Cannabis Control Board, the approved resolution means there will now be a 60-day public comment period before the rules are finalized. This is rather good news for the older, traditional consumer population. For the majority of consumers. it means nada.

Looking at research from BDSA, a leading cannabis data analytics company, e-cigarettes and gummies are the most popular, particularly among the under-40 demographic. Specifically, 49% of consumers in all adult-use and medical-use states reported consuming a gummy in the past six months, compared to 47% who consumed flower.

For comparison, the latest Gallup study found that 37% of people drink beer as their primary alcohol. This compares to 17% who use all forms of marijuana. The Brewers Association, a national group that regularly hosts conferences and competitions, estimates that despite the large number of beer drinkers, only about 1.1 million are trying to get home.

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Neighboring New Jersey, not known for putting New York State to shame, excels at legal marijuana. The state is on track to reach $1 billion in annual revenue and will provide a boom in state tax revenue. You know it's hard when Curbed creates a guide to “legal dispensaries” in NYC to give you some guidance.

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