How it could impact the country
California alone generated over twice as much sales revenue in 2020 than all of Canada where cannabis is federally legal. With the addition of a massive industry after New York cannabis legalization, that number could easily double again, making the United States a legal cannabis behemoth despite federal law.
The massive profits will likely draw the attention of more politicians who will see the potential benefits of legalizing in their own states, or even federally. In states where cannabis is legal, opinions on legalization generally improve over time after those against it see the benefits it brings. In a massive state like New York, a sway in public opinion on legalization could create waves that reach across the east coast and even the country.
Nearly 70% of Americans already support federal cannabis legalization, with 90% supporting federally legal medical cannabis. With New York’s population the number will rise making it nearly impossible for legislators on the federal level to keep ignoring. Of course when it comes to politics, nothing is a guarantee.
A whole new world awaits
The reality is that if New York cannabis legalization passes, the entire industry is likely to change. Entrepreneurs and corporate cannabis entities will flock to New York to capitalize on the new, fresh industry. And with such a massive economy, there will be no shortage of opportunity.
A legal cannabis industry in New York is likely to jump start movement across the east coast, with Pennsylvania and Maryland likely to follow should the industry show promise. Florida has already surpassed $1 Billion in sales with medical marijuana alone, and a full recreational industry would likely explode there as well.
The dominoes of cannabis legalization have been slowly falling state after state, and New York is one BIG domino that could change everything. But just like California, New York could also fall short.
Despite its massive revenue generation and thriving cannabis industry, California has suffered immensely due to its changing regulations with lack of communication or leniency, exorbitant licensing and square footage fees that punish small farmers, and a thriving illicit market that the state can’t quash.
New York must tread lightly or risk facing a similar fate to their west coast cousin, which could have an inverse effect on the future of cannabis legalization across the country. Only the future will tell.