New York map with hemp and cannabis leaves

Wednesday 30th of march the state of New York legalized recreational marijuana after many years of failed attempts. With this approval, New York is the 15th state to legalize cannabis and becomes the country’s largest market. It’s a big step for American citizens, marijuana enthusiasts, and alternative consumers, but at the same time, many questions arise. 

What Does New York Legalization Mean?

New Yorkers who are 21 and older are allowed to use, smoke, ingest or consume cannabis products. They are now allowed, however, to possess up to three ounces of cannabis for recreational use or 24 grams of concentrated cannabis, such as oils derived from a cannabis plant.

Where Will it be Permitted to Smoke?

People will be able to smoke marijuana in the same places where tobacco is permitted. It means you can smoke cannabis in private residences, as well as in hotels and motels that allow it.

It is not legal to smoke in schools, hospitals, workplaces, or in a car. Smoking in these places has a civil penalty of $25 or up to 20 hours of community service.

In the following months after legalization, clubs and consumption spots will be recognized as places where smoking will be allowed.

Will It Be Legal to Grow Cannabis at Home?

Yes, users will be allowed to cultivate up to 6 plants and a maximum of 12 plants per household. Yet, it will take possibly 18 months for the firsts dispensaries to open.

How and When Will I Buy Marijuana?

The law establishes that dispensaries will be designated to sell cannabis products, but the timeline for them to open is still unknown. The first sales aren’t expected until at least 2022.

Officials must first determine how the industry will operate, from regulation and taxation of sales to the allocation of licenses for cultivators, processors, wholesalers, retailers, and delivery services.

What Will Be the Impact on the Economy?

Cannabis products will receive a 9% state tax and a 4% local tax. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo estimates legalization could generate around $350 million in annual taxes and potentially create 30,000 to 60,000 jobs.

The legalization act also claims that all cannabis taxes will go to the “New York State Cannabis Revenue Fund” to cover its operational costs. After that, 40% of the remaining money would go to a community grants reinvestment fund.

What Will Be the Social Impact of Legalizing?

The bill sets a goal of having 50% of marijuana business licenses issued to “individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition.”

New Yorkers convicted for marijuana offenses that became legal under the new legislation would automatically get their records erased.

Where Else Can I Talk About Cannabis Legalization? 

A total of 15 states have legalized marijuana in the United States. In other states, like Georgia or Florida, only hemp and low-THC products are permitted. Still, events like the USA CBD Expo offer a space for enthusiasts and cannabis, hemp, and CBD entrepreneurs, to converge and advocate for the industry. If you’d like to assist, you can get your tickets here.