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At long last, New York has legalized cannabis.
Text of the bill was released in late March. State lawmakers quickly passed the bill and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation into law on March 31. New York is now one of the latest states to legalize cannabis, following in the footsteps of its neighbor New Jersey.
The legislation focuses heavily on social equity but there’s no mistake that the 10 companies that entered the state as medical operators will have a big leg up as sales begin.
Current medical companies in New York will be allowed to transition into the state’s recreational market. They’ll also be allowed to stay vertically integrated, meaning they control every part of the supply chain from seed to storefront.
None of the incoming players into New York’s market — aside from a small class of operators called “micro-businesses” — will be able to do the same according to the language in the law, giving incumbents room to supply the market, which will lead to bigger market share initially.
CEOs from companies Curaleaf, Green Thumb Industries, Columbia Care, and Ascend Wellness Holdings told Insider they’re generally happy with the framework outlined under the legislation and are preparing to ramp up cultivation and infrastructure plans to be able to meet the demand from New York’s 19 million population.
They added that because they’re able to cultivate, distribute, and sell cannabis products in their own retail stores, they’re building out ways to be able to take advantage of their positions in supplying the larger market and other players as sales begin in the state.
Companies say they’re waiting patiently as the more regulations around cultivation caps, dispensary location requirements, and other details come to light in the coming months. The law creates an …read more