NY is now among 16 states that have full legalization of marijuana.
Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed legislation legalizing, taxing and regulating the sale of marijuana to adults older than 21.
Ben Kovler, chief executive officer of Green Thumb Industries Inc, the second largest US pot producer by market value, said his company will allocate "significant dollars" to the NY market - set to be the second largest legal market after California.
Medicinal patients in the state can begin growing six months after the bill's enactment and those looking to grow recreationally must wait until 18 months after the opening of the first dispensary.
"New York is NY, (there) couldn't be a bigger deal", Kovler said. Legalization could eventually bring the state about $350 million annually, according to Cuomo's administration. "And that's not something that most other states did". Legal marijuana could eventually become a $4 billion industry in the Empire State.More news: Mass. officials not told to expect delays in shipping Johnson & Johnson vaccine
"What cannabis brings and is now proven is tax revenue of a material nature", Kovler said, citing the example of IL, which in February collected more tax revenue from cannabis than alcohol.
In response to the governor's announcement, Emily Kaltenbach, senior director for Resident States and New Mexico at the Drug Policy Alliance, said the special session offers New Mexicans another chance to make sure equity and justice are center to the legalization.
"New York will lead the nation in legalizing adult-use marijuana in a way that is responsive to the massive problems generated by criminalization", David R. Jones, President, and CEO of the Community Service Society said. "It will have an impact on the way the federal government thinks about legalization", said Nicholas Vita, the CEO of New York-based Columbia Care Inc. Voters chose to legalize marijuana in South Dakota past year, but the amendment is now tied up in court.
The legislation provides protections for cannabis users in the workplace, housing, family court and in schools, colleges and universities, and sets a target of providing half of marijuana licenses to individuals from underrepresented communities.
"The last time New York State did anything like this is when we were removing the prohibition from alcohol: that was in 1933", she added.More news: Macron will address France tonight amid third wave of coronavirus
"I'm driving this because I want people to be free from incarceration for a drug that people in their communities use every day", Stokes said.
New Yorkers will be permitted to smoke in public wherever tobacco smoking is permitted with the exception of near schools and while driving.
Still, Republicans and a handful of Democrats who oppose legalization said Tuesday they remain concerned that the bill will tie law enforcement's hands and send the message to children that the drug is OK. They can not opt out of legalization. Peoples-Stokes has estimated it could take 18 months to two years for sales to start.
Local governments could opt-out of retail sales. "Passage of this legislation will ensure that minor marijuana possession offenders, many of them young people, are no longer saddled with a criminal record and the lifelong penalties and stigma associated with it".
Sen. Liz Krueger, a Democrat and the legislation's senate sponsor, estimates the total tax rate will come out to about 20%.More news: Ghislaine Maxwell faces two new charges in sex crimes case
"The next step is to see how the regulations and the program are stood up to actually provide those opportunities", added Peckham, whose company has four dispensaries around the state. But plans haven't always played out as intended. IL has since revised its process to try to address those issues.