By Roland Sebestyén
After New York officially legalised recreational cannabis back in March, the state may have paved the way to becoming the next cannabis capital of North America and even, some say, of the world.
Senator Liz Krueger, the lead sponsor of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), played a pivotal role in pushing for the policy change that removed cannabis from the state’s Controlled Substances Act said: “New Yorkers should expect a ‘nation-leading’ model for marijuana legalization that focuses on racial justice, consumer safety, economic growth and a systematic deconstruction of the illicit market.”
The Act allows New Yorkers over the age of 21 to legally possess and use cannabis, and the MRTA’s enactment in March this year will see legal sales of cannabis in New York beginning in 2022.
Talking to Prohibition Partners and Business of Cannabis ahead of the upcoming Business of Cannabis: New York summit on September 29, an event which she will use as a platform to detail New York’s cannabis legalisation model, Sen. Krueger said: “New York is poised to implement a nation-leading model for what marijuana legalisation can look like by legalising adult-use cannabis in a way that foregrounds racial justice, while balancing safety with economic growth, encouraging new small businesses, and significantly diminishing the illegal market.
“As the sponsor of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) that became law in March, my goal has always been to end the racially disparate enforcement of marijuana prohibition that has taken such a toll on communities of colour across our state, and to use the economic windfall of legalisation to help heal and repair those same communities.
“It will be critical that these goals are prioritised as MRTA is implemented in the months ahead.”
Prohibition Partners estimates that total sales of medical and adult-use cannabis in New York will reach $2.6 billion in 2022, rising to $3.9 billion by 2025.