by Travis C | Nov 30, 2021 | Blog, Business, Cannabis Business, Cannabis Law, Cannabis Law and Compliance, Cannabis News, Culture, Industry News, Legalization, Politics
As the pieces begin falling into place to allow the New York recreational cannabis industry to begin operations, some local towns and villages are saying no to legal weed.
New data provided by the Associations of Towns of New York State indicates that around 9% of communities have opted out of the zoning portion of recreational marijuana legalization. How many towns is that? Across the state there are 84 of them that have opted out of both retail sale of marijuana and on-site consumption of cannabis.
The same can be said for villages. Around 9%, or 46 villages in New York have opted out of the law, leaving potentially millions in revenue on the table as New York recreational cannabis expands across the state.
For towns and villages that opt out of the New York recreational cannabis program, businesses will not be able to open if they sell or allow patrons to consume cannabis in their establishments.
There is still time for towns and villages opt out, however it does not look like the majority feel the same as the hundred or so that have already. “At this point, it appears there is not a major wave of opt-outs sweeping across the state,” Chris Anderson, research director for the Association of Towns recently said.
“We expect to see some more activity, but it’s certainly pretty late in the game. We have a good indication now it will be a low opt-out percentage statewide.”
There are hundreds of towns and villages across New York state, with the 120+ that have opted out making up a very small minority. It is likely that these towns and villages will see their surrounding communities generate revenue from recreational business while they miss out.
The towns and villages that have opted out will still have the opportunity to opt in once the New York recreational cannabis industry takes off. However the window for more to opt out is closing as the state gets closer to implementing a legal industry.
by The Real Dirt | Jun 7, 2021 | 420 News, Blog, Business, Cannabis Law and Compliance, Cannabis News, Hemp, Industry News, Legalization
When Mid-Hudson Correctional Facility closed in 2011, it freed up 740 acres of prime property that its host community, Warwick, readily bought for $3.1 million.
During the past decade, the town has actively worked to repurpose the property and has seen positive results from its efforts. With Covid-19 fading and the state reopening, business is again percolating on the former prison property, now known as Wickham Woodlands.
Along with a new Warwick Valley Office and Technology Corporate Park on the campus, where the town’s business accelerator is working with three-startup companies, business is growing along its winding State School Road: a former administration building has become the trendy Drowned Lands Brewery; the prison’s old guard tower is now the gateway to Hudson Sports Complex; and the land surrounding Wickham Lake, which inmates could view from behind barbed wire fencing, has been turned into a town park.
The Warwick Valley’s fertile landscape also offers ample opportunities for those who grow hemp and its soon-to-be-street legal counterpart, marijuana, and is seeing that business beginning to boom within Wickham Woods’ borders.
When the United States eased federal regulations on growing hemp in 2018, the floodgates of products produced from hemp’s byproduct, cannabidiol — better known to the public as CBD — started hitting the shelves.
Medical marijuana has been legal since 2016, and the state also relaxed its regulations for CBD-infused food and beverages. In April, 2021, the New York state Legislature approved the legalization of recreational marijuana, which has opened a whole new revenue stream for cultivators.
Those measures have propelled Wickham Woods into the spotlight for those with a vested interest in both legal hemp/cannabis cultivation and CBD production.
Chicago-based Fiorello Pharmaceuticals/Green Thumb Industries is poised to build a 100,000-square-foot cannabis growing and processing facility on 40 acres in the technology park.
The company received approval in May from the Orange County Industrial Development Agency for subsidies that include a sales and tax use exemption, mortgage recording tax exemption and a 15-year payment in lieu of taxes, as well as approval for the issuance of taxable revenue bonds.
by The Real Dirt | Apr 6, 2021 | 420, 420 Culture & Travel, 420 News, Blog, Culture, Legalization
In The Big Apple, a man celebrated legal weed by smoking marijuana in front of two NYPD officers — all caught on camera.
“Happy quarantine!” the man greets the cops as he inhales and exhales.
adults over the age of 21 can now possess and use marijuana — even in public — under a legalization bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo
, though legal sales of recreational-use cannabis won’t start for an estimated 18 months until regulations are set.
Passed after several years of stalled efforts, the measure makes New York the 16th state in the nation to legalize adult use of the drug.
New York becomes the second-most populous state after California to legalize recreational marijuana.
Legalization backers hope the Empire State will add momentum and set an example with its efforts to redress the inequities of a system that has locked up people of color for marijuana offenses at disproportionate rates.
The legislation provides protections for cannabis users in the workplace, housing, family court, schools, colleges and universities, and sets a target of providing half of marijuana licenses to individuals from underrepresented communities. And police could no longer use the odor of cannabis as a reason for searching someone’s car for contraband.
New York will start automatically expunging some past marijuana-related convictions, and people won’t be arrested or prosecuted for possession of pot up to 3 ounces. A 2019 law already expunged many past convictions and reduced the penalty for possessing small amounts.
In a unique provision, New Yorkers 21 and over can now smoke cannabis in public, including on sidewalks.
by The Real Dirt | Mar 17, 2021 | 420 News, Blog, Cannabis Law, Legalization, Politics
The Legislature is on the precipice of passing a measure legalizing adult-use recreational marijuana in the Empire State, New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said Tuesday.
Lawmakers are likely to reach a cannabis consensus and act on a stand-alone bill as soon they address lingering concerns about traffic stops and safety, Stewart-Cousins acknowledged.
“We are extremely close. We have reached a little bit of an impasse right now and it has to do with impaired driving,” the Yonkers Democrat said during a video news conference. “We’re trying to figure a way forward so there can be some understanding of safety.”
At issue is whether to continue to treat driving while impaired by marijuana as a misdemeanor or a traffic infraction.
Earlier in the day, Sandra Doorley, Monroe County District Attorney and president of the state’s district attorneys association, outlined some of the qualms coming from law enforcement.
“The classification of driving under the influence of cannabis as a traffic infraction would send the message to the driving public that driving while impaired is no big deal and will be treated the same as a speeding ticket,” Doorley said. “Further, driving while impaired by marijuana obviously endangers all of our residents and visitors.”
Democrats in both the Senate and Assembly dropped marijuana from their budget proposals this week, an indication that lawmakers are nearing a deal on long-stalled efforts to allow New Yorkers to legally spark up.
Past attempts to approve pot have repeatedly gone up in smoke due to discrepancies over revenue, local opt-ins and expungement of past pot arrests. While Gov. Cuomo has included legal marijuana in his own budget proposals the past two years, he and lawmakers have failed to see eye to eye on equity and the allocation of revenue.
Lawmakers have sought to spend a lion’s share of the tax revenue on minority communities where the state’s drug laws have been disproportionately enforced, while Cuomo has sought greater state control of the funds.