The laws vary, but what we know from other states is largely encouraging.
“It touches lots of different agencies and parts of the state,” Senator Krueger says.
Though most New Yorkers now support pot legalization, there are many competing factions with different policy priorities.
The company’s vice president of government affairs, Nick Etten, says New York’s medical program is “anemic”—there are about a half-million residents for every dispensary in the state—and he believes that boosting it should be part of any future marijuana legislation in New York.
Etten and other Acreage operators have worked closely with Albany to advance comprehensive reform.
Med Men, which generated nearly $40 million in revenue last year from its operations across five states, is in the process of acquiring Pharma Cann, which has four medical dispensaries in New York and a 130,000-square-foot production facility in Hamptonburgh.
The Ontario-based Canopy Growth, the world’s largest cannabis company, announced plans in January to build a 0 to 0-million hemp-processing industrial park in the Southern Tier, and took a tentative step toward US expansion by agreeing in April to acquire Acreage Holdings for .4 billion pending the future federal legalization of cannabis.
And despite the competing agendas, by far the most common concern across camps is preventing a corporate cannabis takeover.
“It’s important to not let this industry go from one cartel to another,” Novick says.
Legalization also legitimized black-market jobs and created new ones, and sales and tax revenues exceeded initial estimates in each state, once consumers and regulators adjusted to new systems. And the Hudson Valley, in particular, stands to benefit, says Michael Amoroso, executive director of the Hudson Valley chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in the country such a major cannabis consumption market that sits alongside a corridor of higher education institutions and has an agricultural community in close proximity.” Follow the Money Despite this year’s failure, it seems to be a matter of when, not if, the wave of legalization will reach New York.
The MRTA would legalize recreational marijuana use for anyone over the age of 21, taxing and regulating it in a manner akin to the state’s current treatment of alcohol and tobacco.