New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed legislation allowing the licensing of marijuana dispensaries, according to Bloomberg.
- Cannabis storefronts will be allowed to open as soon as 2022 under the measure. Cities, towns, and villages have until the end-2021 to opt out.
- New York is the 16th state to legalize cannabis. It will also become the second-largest legal marijuana market in the US with an anticipated $4.2 billion in sales, following California’s $4.4 billion.
- The number of licenses for large corporations will be limited, with half allocated to a minority- or woman-owned business, distressed farmers, service-disabled veterans, or “social and economic equity” applicants.
- The state will impose a 13% sales tax that will be divided between the state, which will get 9%, and localities getting 4%. Distributors will also collect additional excise taxes of as much as 3 cents per milligram of THC. Excise taxes are estimated at $350 million annually.
- Regulations will be set by a state Cannabis Control Board and Office of Cannabis Management.
- The legislation also sets in motion automatic expungement of records for people convicted of cannabis-related activities which are no longer criminalized.
- Medical marijuana companies that already have a license in New York include Acreage Holdings, Columbia Care, Cresco Labs, Curaleaf, and Green Thumb Industries.