Will The Big Apple Go Legal This Year?
This past year has not only been a wild ride for marijuana stocks but the cannabis industry as a whole. Back in 2020, we saw pot stocks face a downtrend in march. Then shortly after many marijuana stocks began to recover. Some cannabis stocks were even able to reach new highs as well as record-breaking Q3 earnings. Furthermore back in 2020, a great deal of progress was reached in the cannabis industry. This past year one of the most comprehensive pieces of cannabis legislation was passed by The House. This bill was known as the MORE Act which essentially would decriminalize cannabis on a federal level. In addition to this during this past presidential election, 5 new states have legalized cannabis to some degree.
New Jersey, Montana, South Dakota, Arizona, Mississippi are the newest states to join the current green rush. With more states going legal it allows for new players to come in and create a new market. Some analysts project with each new state going legal it has the potential to generate up to an extra $1 billion in revenue. What this has also done is inspire neighboring states to do the same. Especially for New York now that New Jersey has legalized cannabis. The big apple is said to have a big consumer base for cannabis. If legalized New York may have one biggest markets in the U.S. This leaves the bigger question is New York ready to go legal.
Good News For New York And The Cannabis Industry
Recenlty Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D) submitted a bill that would benefit the people of New York greatly. This recent bill would stop the use of harsh penalties when caught with small amounts of a controlled substance. Yet if someone does get caught they would pay a small fine instead.
“The purpose of this legislation is to save lives and to help transform New York’s approach to drug use from one based on criminalization and stigma to one based on science and compassion,” the bill says, “by eliminating criminal and civil penalties for the personal possession of controlled substances.”
If a person is caught with a small quantity of a controlled substance it would go from a class A misdemeanor to paying a $50 fine. In addition to the fine, the way the bill was drafted a person could also participate in “a needs screening to identify health and other service needs.” Once the person who has been caught has completed a screening process within 45 days, the fine would be dismissed.
The goal of this screening is to “identify health and other service needs,” the bill says, “including but not limited to services that may address any problematic substance use and mental health conditions, lack of employment, housing, or food, and any need for civil legal services.”
What Does This Mean For New York And Cannabis Legislation
With Sen. Gustavo Rivera introducing this new bill it’s a step in the right direction. Meaning New York needs to set a foundation for laws that will help push for proper cannabis legislation in the state. As Gov. Andrew Cuomo said previously cannabis legislation will again be introduced through the state budget in January.
The aim behind this is to establish some type of cannabis reform by April. What this also does is give time for the state to also establish rules and regulations for the birth of a new market. There is much hype and excitement surrounding the possibility that New York will finally rides the green wave.
More Legal States Mean New Markets For The Cannabis Industry
As mentioned above New York has a big cannabis consumer base which with legalizing cannabis can produce large amounts of revenue. Not only that but as things begin to build for the big apple many other players in the industry are taking notice of the change. Furthermore back when all 5 states went legal some marijuana stocks began to rally and created an upward push for other pot stocks.
This is the progress that is needed in the cannabis industry. The only thing stopping cannabis from getting to the next level is proper legislation. This would create fewer roadblocks and allows for other places to do business without the fear of breaking any laws. So far in 2021 things are looking good for the cannabis industry overall. The Senate is now controlled by the Democrats which holds great favor for cannabis.
If the Senate passes the MORE Act. many believe it will cause many marijuana stocks to pick more momentum. This momentum increase is on the basis of being federally decriminalized. Yet some feel it’s the beginning of a new start for an industry that should have already been legalized. So as we are just at the start of the new year many good things are in the works for the industry at large.