State of the New York Cannabis Market

What is the state of the New York cannabis market? Earlier this week, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) approved regulations to boost the New York cannabis market. When New York first legalized cannabis in 2021, analysts expected a $4 billion market. Two years later, they’re generating a measly $12 million with only 20 legal stores. Compared to neighboring states, it’s clear the New York cannabis market is underperforming. But now the rules have changed. Regulators are now allowing multi-state […]

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New York Shuts Down “Illicit” Dispensaries 

New York cannabis regulators and police departments are shutting down “illicit” dispensaries. This past Monday, authorities raided seven stores. The situation is not unlike Canadian legalization and “BC Bud.” The latter is a loose-knit group of cannabis farmers, retailers and other vested interests that have been safely producing cannabis for decades and expected legalization to include them. Canadian legalization was about selling equity than weed. More about setting up a Laurentian elite cannabis cartel. Like every other major industry in […]

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New York Cannabis Farmers’ Markets

New York cannabis farmers’ markets are now a thing. The State’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has created a category called “Cannabis Growers Showcase.” This will allow farmers to sell their crops at cannabis-centric farmers’ markets. The OCM’s control board passed the measure on Wednesday. They also approved 212 new retail licenses and banned the sale of synthetic cannabinoids, including hemp-derived delta-8 THC. The rationale for New York cannabis farmers’ markets is three-fold. Growers have a supply glut, consumers want […]

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Cannabis and Court Rulings

Cannabis and court rulings have an extensive, intertwined history. In Canada, for example, the courts require the federal government to provide “reasonable access” to medical cannabis. When the federal government tried to ban home-growing, the Supreme Court told the government to back off. (Allard v. Queen) Likewise, in the United States, in Gonzales v. Raich, the courts ruled the federal government did not have the authority to enforce drug laws against medical cannabis patients in states where medical cannabis was legal. […]

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New York to Legalize Psychedelics?

Not even a month after legalizing recreational cannabis, New York looks posed to legalize psychedelics in 2023. The legislation, which three Assembly Members will introduce, will legalize psilocybin, DMT, LSD, and ibogaine for adults over 21 years old. Specifically, it would make legal the “possession, use, cultivation, production, creation, analysis, gifting, exchange, or sharing by or between natural persons of twenty-one years of age or older of a natural plant or fungus-based hallucinogen.” Psychedelics? Didn’t New York Just Legalize Cannabis? […]

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New York State Legalizes Cannabis

Has New York State legalized cannabis? Last week the State’s Cannabis Control Board approved regulations that bring it closer to recreational adult-use sales. Regulators approved a licensing program that legislators proposed earlier this year. The plan has the first round of retail licenses for applicants with past cannabis-related convictions. New York State is the first […]

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New York Expands Medical Marijuana Eligibility

This week, New York expanded eligibility for the state’s medical cannabis program to include more patients, according to an announcement from state regulators. New York’s Office of Cannabis Management said on Monday that the state had launched a new medical marijuana certification and registration system that is “easier to use and expands the eligibility criteria for patients who can benefit from medical cannabis.”

Under the new eligibility criteria, practitioners will be allowed to issue medical marijuana certifications to any patient they believe may benefit from the medicinal use of cannabis. Previously, the use of medical cannabis was restricted to patients with one or more qualifying medical conditions. The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) noted that the change is consistent with the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) passed by lawmakers last year.

In addition to legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and establishing a framework for adult-use cannabis sales, the MRTA shifted the regulation of New York’s medical marijuana program from the state Department of Health to the OCM. Tremaine Wright, the chair of the state Cannabis Control Board, applauded the progress made by state marijuana regulators.

“It is terrific to see the Medical Cannabis Program expand so vastly with the launch of the new certification and registration program and the ability of practitioners to determine qualifying conditions as included in the MRTA,” Wright said in a statement from the OCM. 

Previously, the OCM announced additional changes to the state’s medical marijuana program, including allowing the sale of cannabis flower and a permanent waiver of registration fees for patients and caregivers. Regulators also expanded the list of caregivers qualified to certify patients for medical marijuana to include any practitioner who is licensed to prescribe controlled substances in New York, such as dentists, podiatrists and midwives. 

Other changes to New York’s medical marijuana program made by the OCM include increasing the amount of cannabis that may be dispensed at one time from a 30-day supply to a 60-day supply and streamlining the approval for institutions such as hospitals, residential facilities and schools to become designated caregiver facilities to hold and dispense products for patients. Additionally, the state Cannabis Control Board has accepted public comments on proposed regulations to govern the home cultivation of cannabis by medical cannabis patients and is currently completing an assessment of the comments submitted for publication in the state register.

“The new cannabis industry is taking shape as we continue to implement the MRTA and provide greater access for New Yorkers to a medicine that we’re learning more about every day,” Wright said. “We’re continuing to move forward swiftly and today’s system launch follows our achievements that already include adding whole flower medical product sales, permanently waiving $50 patient fees, and advancing home cultivation regulations, among others.”

Patients certified through the new certification and registration system will be issued their certification from the OCM. Certifications previously issued by the Department of Health will continue to remain valid through their expiration date, when new certifications will be issued by the OCM.

Cannabis Community Applauds Expansion of Medical Marijuana Program

Dr. Rebecca Siegel, a clinical psychiatrist and the author of The Brain on Cannabis: What You Should Know About Recreational and Medical Marijuana, said that expanding access to medical cannabis is appropriate, because cannabis can be beneficial for a wide range of medical conditions.

“I think this gives practitioners in all types of medicine just one more tool to add to their belt in order to effectively treat patients,” Siegal wrote in an email to High Times. “Most importantly, I think this broadens the opportunity for more patients to have access to cannabis from their own personal trusted physicians who can better monitor their conditions and use of marijuana. This is way better than patients trying to manage it on their own.”

Sharon Ali, the Mid-Atlantic regional general manager for cannabis multi-state operator Acreage Holdings, said that expanding access to medical marijuana is a significant advancement for New York, where the company operates four The Botanist retail locations.

“New York has the opportunity to implement lessons learned from earlier adopters of legalization, and we’ve seen from other states that one of the most important foundations for a successful adult-use program is a robust medical program,” Ali wrote in an email, adding that it is “an exciting time for New York as the cannabis program continues to evolve in a positive direction.”

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New York Governor to Create $200M Cannabis Fund with Social Equity Focus

Using the occasion of her first State of the State address to highlight the plan, New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s administration said that the new, lucrative industry should consider those living in less privileged areas. 

“New York’s legalized cannabis industry is in development, with the State expecting to issue licenses for adult recreational use. But the rise of what is estimated to be a $4.2 billion industry must create opportunities for all New Yorkers, particularly those from historically marginalized communities,” the governor’s office said in a handbook detailing her proposals for the coming year. 

Hochul, who became New York’s first female governor in August after her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, resigned amid scandal, gave her State of the State address on Wednesday.

“In support of that goal, Governor Hochul will create a $200 million public-private fund to support social equity applicants as they plan for and build out their businesses,” the handbook continued. “Licensing fees and tax revenue will seed the fund and leverage significant private investment.”

Since taking office, Hochul has been vocal in her desire to get the state’s legal pot program off the ground and running. A spokesperson for Hochul said in August that nominating “individuals with diverse experiences and subject matter expertise, who are representative of communities from across the state, to the Cannabis Control Board is a priority” for the new governor.

In September, Hochul made a pair of appointments to the board of Office of Cannabis Management, which has been tasked with “[creating and implementing] a comprehensive regulatory framework for New York’s cannabis industry, including the production, licensing, packaging, marketing and sale of cannabis products.”

The two positions had been left unfilled, typifying the lack of progress that had been made on the new cannabis law since it was signed by Cuomo last spring.

“New York’s cannabis industry has stalled for far too long—I am making important appointments to set the Office of Cannabis Management up for success so they can hit the ground running,” Hochul said at the time of the appointments.

That same month, Hochul announced that New York lawmakers had finally confirmed the appointment of Tremaine Wright as Chair of New York’s Cannabis Control Board (CCB) and Christopher Alexander as Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM).

“One of my top priorities is to finally get New York’s cannabis industry up and running—this has been long overdue, but we’re going to make up for lost time with the Senate confirmation of Tremaine Wright as Chair of the Cannabis Control Board and Christopher Alexander as Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management,” Hochul said in a statement at the time.

In the handbook put out by her office this week, Hochul’s administration said that the $200 million fund will help the state meet its goal of awarding 50 percent of licenses for cannabis business to “social equity candidates,” which include “individuals from impacted communities, minority- and women-owned businesses (MWBEs), distressed farmers, justice-involved individuals, and service-disabled veterans.” 

In addition, the administration said that New York will “will create a State-run business incubator to further support equity applicants.”

“While New York has committed to making its cannabis industry more equitable, this action will put that commitment into practice. New York will lead where many other states have fallen short,” the book stated. “The governor is focused on providing more than basic business support and training for our future cannabis entrepreneurs, and this fund will provide direct capital and startup financing to social equity applicants as the State takes meaningful steps to ensuring that New York’s cannabis industry is the most diverse and inclusive in the nation.”

New York officially legalized weed last March, when Cuomo signed a bill into law. While dispensaries likely won’t open their doors until next year, many parts of legalization, including possession and public consumption, took effect immediately.

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Exploring Cannabis Culture: New York

“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.”– Tom Wolfe 

New York, New York It’s a wonderful town and on the 31st of March, 2021 it became even more wonderful as New York State became the 15th state to legalize recreational cannabis. A progressive move from the cultural capital of the US, the windy city and one that we think deserves applause and air time. So, in this, the latest article in our series on cannabis culture around the world, we’ll be walking the streets of New York City. But, what is Cannabis culture? Well here at CBD testers, we believe that it’s ‘the way that cannabis can be perceived and treated within a society, city or country.’  Now, when we say Cannabis, we also mean the products of cannabis including the incredible oils CBD and THC, as well as any other way cannabis and its products influence a culture.- So, hail that yellow cab, grab a slice of pizza, but watch where you’re going because  ‘we’re walkin here!’ as we investigate the Cannabis culture in the big apple, the windy city, New York City baby!

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New York City  

New York City is the largest city in the state of New York (Although interestingly not the capital, that’s Albany) it can be found in a natural Harbour around the Hudson bay on the North Atlantic coast of America. New York is one of the most famous cities in the world and is often described as the cultural, financial and media capital of the world. It’s split up into five boroughs, each with its own unique identity: The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn. New York City is also the most populated and most densely populated city in the whole of the United States and is an icon of the western world. The city has played host to some of the most iconic films and has even been referenced in a host of songs and musicals, maybe most famously by Frank Sinatra in the eponymous New York: 

‘Start spreading the news
I’m leaving today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York’

With so much happening in this incredible city it’s not surprising that Cannabis culture is so rich. The city has a beautiful history with Cannabis, made popular by the Jazz and Beat scenes in Harlem and Greenwich Village. Writers such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg used to smoke Cannabis with many Jazz artists, writing about it in novels and poems and spreading the word about the joys of Cannabis. In the 70’s and 80’s New York became one of the most important cities in the movement towards legalization of Cannabis and indeed the push for medical Cannabis with movements like Green Aid, supporting Cannabis use for Aids sufferers. With this clear historical link, one can only imagine how the legalization of Cannabis will have impacted the culture around the drug.

Before we delve into the Cannabis culture of modern day new york, let’s discuss some of the top sights to see in the windy city: 

Statue of Liberty

An Icon of American Culture, the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France in 1886 and stands proudly on Ellis Island, welcoming in newcomers to the city. You can book tours of Ellis Island and can even climb to the top of her crown for a bird’s eye view of New York bay.

Times Square 

The iconic Times square is a must seen in the city that never sleeps. Famous for its neon-lights and broadway billboards, you can take in a show or even pop into the brilliant Museum of Modern Arts. Although if you don’t fancy crowds, then Times Square might not be for you as it is one of the busiest tourist destinations in the world.

Central Park

When in New York you have to visit the 38 Acre park right in the middle of Manhattan Island. With the legalisation of smoking Cannabis outside, you can even enjoy a relaxing smoke in this beautiful patch of greenery.

Cannabis in New York

Is It Legal?

Yes! Since March 31st 2021, it is legal to possess and use Cannabis for recreation purposes as well as medical purposes. So, what exactly can we do in the Big Apple now that Cannabis is legalized? According to a comprehensive review by JD Supra, adults over 21 can now legally possess up to 3 ounces of Cannabis and up to 24 grams of Cannabis oils, for edibles and vaporisers. Cannabis will eventually be allowed to be purchased from state licensed dispensaries, located across the city, though for now this isn’t possible as the state is still finalizing how the licensing process will work and how to tax Cannabis sales to benefit as many people as possible.. Cannabis being able to be smoked outside is quite different to some Eastern States, including Colorado  where smoking is only allowed inside and in private and public consumption is banned.  

Is It Illegal?

Even though there are so many ways to enjoy Cannabis legally in New York, there are some restrictions still in place, so what can’t you do? Possession of more than 3 ounces of Cannabis can still lead to punishment. 3-8 ounces could result in a misdemeanour and a fine, whilst possession of anything over 8 ounces can be classed as a felony. As expected, it is illegal to operate any vehicles in the city whilst under the influence of Cannabis, so make sure you have a taxi booked if you’re thinking of consuming any Cannabis on your trip. It is also illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to possess or use Cannabis or some Cannabis oils.

You can’t smoke Cannabis in any locations where smoking tobacco is prohibited and of course you can’t cross any state lines whilst carrying Cannabis or Cannabis products illegal in neighboring states. As the law is very new, there are still certain issues being discussed. The legal purchasing of Cannabis being one of them. It is still illegal to purchase Cannabis and some officials say that it could be a while before state registered, licensed vendors will be around to sell Cannabis. For Medical Marijuana, if you are granted a prescription by your doctor, you can legally pick up Cannabis from a dispensary.

You can have a look at the full laws around cannabis in the bill itself here.

The City’s General Attitude to Cannabis 

New York has always had a relaxed stance on the smoking of Cannabis and has had a long history with Cannabis, linking back to the Beats and the Hippie movements, so the general attitude, even before the legalization of Cannabis was quite relaxed. A large-scale report by NYC health found that in 2016 34% of NYC adults ages 18-25 reported Cannabis use within the past year and 27% of 26-34 year olds as well and all of this before legalization was even properly discussed. The city welcomes open mindedness and is famous for its inclusivity. Let’s have a look at some of the Cannabis center events that take place in NYC.

NYC Cannabis Parade 

One of the longest running parades celebrating the wonder of Cannabis, New York’s Cannabis parade is a staple of the cities open mindedness. The parade was started in the 60’s after a series of cultural events lead to regular ‘smoke ins’: Allen Ginsberg founded LeMAr (Legalize Marijuana), hippie culture was blooming in the East Village and people started to protest against the criminalization of Cannabis. From then on, people have regularly met and marched through the center of New York City. As they say on their website, the history of this parade shows that the new legalization of Cannabis ‘did not come as a gift from the top down – it came up from the people through struggle.’ 

Cannabis Speakeasy events

There are lots of Speakeasy dinners and nights in and around NYC. Spleef is an events company that hosts spoken word events and stand up nights that are centred around promoting artists as well as enjoying infused edibles. 20 past 4 is an infused dining experience where diners are served infused meals that match the strain of Cannabis they are given to smoke before that course. There are many events like this around the city and these Cannabis infused dinner parties will continue to grow as clarity around the rules of selling Cannabis grows too.

New York Cannabis Film Festival 

Another important event in the Cannabis Culture Calendar of New York is the Cannabis Film Festival. A festival of feature films and shorts that celebrate Cannabis Culture and promote Cannabis friendly creatives all with the aim of breaking down the stigmas around the drug.

For a list of Cannabis based events and workshops, including the business of Cannabis in NYC, have a look at this link.


New York is one of the most lively, bustling and iconic cities in the world. You can be anyone you want and dream any dream. With the change in laws of legalisation it’s now possible to use Cannabis with freedom and ease and soon it will even be possible to legally purchase Cannabis from dispensaries and even visit Cannabis cafes. Cannabis culture was always present in New York, but the future is bright and the Big Apple keeps on getting shinier.

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Start Spreading the News: Recreational Cannabis is Legal in New York… and New Mexico

We’re all familiar with New York City, that mess of concrete and high rises that holds the largest number of inhabitants of any US city. As a general liberal hotspot, in a generally liberal state, it’s almost surprising it took so long. But it’s finally happened. Recreational cannabis is now legal in New York. But that’s not all. In 24 hours, both New York and New Mexico became cannabis legal for recreational use.

Just because there’s a vape ban, doesn’t mean you can’t access delta-8 THC, the less psychoactive THC which produces less anxiety for users. We’ve got a whole new set of options for you! So check out these great delta-8 THC deals today, and experience delta-8 in a brand new way.

New York – 19.45 million inhabitants

New Mexico – 2.097 million inhabitants

What’s the news?

On Wednesday March 31, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation officially making recreational cannabis legal in the state of New York. The new bill allows for adult-use, starting at the age of 21, and permits adult residents to have up to three ounces of cannabis, and up to 24 grams of concentrates. Each household will also be able to grow up to six mature cannabis plants, however this does not go into effect until 18 months after sales begin, possibly to get consumers used to buying before allowing them to grow for themselves, which will likely eat into official revenue numbers.

The bill, The New York State Cannabis/Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act, passed as Senate Bill S854A, with a vote of 40 to 23, and then went on to the Assembly where it passed in a vote of 100 to 49. This vote was done in a late-night session Tuesday night. Cuomo made the following statement Wednesday upon signing: “This is a historic day in New York — one that rights the wrongs of the past by putting an end to harsh prison sentences, embraces an industry that will grow the Empire State’s economy, and prioritizes marginalized communities so those that have suffered the most will be the first to reap the benefits.”

The bill is not just meant for the people in New York, but for New York businesses as well. The new legislation creates a licensing system for producers and distributors. It also works to expunge convictions for crimes that would not be crimes anymore under the new legislation. Under the new law, a 13% sales tax will be applied at the point of sale.

New York legal cannabis

…And then New Mexico did it too

About 24 hours later, on the night of Wednesday April, 1st, 2021, New Mexico’s legislature voted in the Cannabis Regulation Act, which is now expected to be signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. New Mexico actually has two bills, one which legalizes recreational cannabis use for those 21 and above, and a separate one which expunges criminal records received previously for cannabis crimes which are no longer crimes.

Regarding this aspect, the governor stated: This important legislation accompanies the legalization of cannabis and will ensure that New Mexico ends the harmful long-term impacts of cannabis conviction records, enabling New Mexicans to build better futures.”

The bill sets up a licensing and taxation system to regulate the production and sale of cannabis products. Retail sales are expected to start no later than April 2022, giving the state a year to set up its market. Under the new law, private citizens can have up to two ounces of cannabis, and are allowed to grow up to six plants in their homes. A final aspect of New Mexico’s bill which separates it from New York’s bill, is that New Mexico is not allowing local governments to choose not to have retail cannabis sales. In New York, that ability to opt-out is still there.

US States and cannabis

New York and New Mexico aren’t exactly breaking any records here. Neither is the first state to have a medical cannabis policy pass, that would be Virginia. And neither is the first state to develop a comprehensive legal medical cannabis bill, that was California. And certainly, neither are the first to legalize cannabis for recreational use, that designation goes to Washington and Oregon, which both legalized for recreational use at the end of 2012. There’s no ‘first’ here to be rejoicing over, but instead, the understanding that two of America’s states, including the home of America’s biggest city, just became pot friendly.

So where do New York and New Mexico stand then in the US landscape of cannabis legalization? Well, things have been changing quickly in the US, so much so that every article written on the subject is invalidated within a couple months tops. New York makes the 16th state to legalize recreational cannabis, and New Mexico the 17th, bringing the total to 19 locations with legal recreational marijuana policies including Washington DC, and Guam.

In terms of states, New York and New Mexico join: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Vermont, Arizona, Montana, South Dakota, and New Jersey. For anyone doing the math, that now makes up 34% of states with recreational legalization policies, and accounts for approximately 150 million people.

legal recreational cannabis

On a broader scale, when looking at ‘America’, it should be remembered that North America is made up of three countries: the US, Mexico, and Canada. Canada is already a federally legalized country for recreational cannabis, and Mexico’s court system also legalized cannabis recreationally by knocking down current legislation as unconstitutional, thus requiring new legislation which is due out at the end of this month.

As such, all North American countries have some amount of cannabis legalization. When widening the scope even further, we include South America, which is home to Uruguay, the first country in the modern world to legalize cannabis for recreational use. The continents of North and South America together make up the most cannabis friendly region of the world.

Possible gains

In both states where recreational cannabis was made legal, New York and New Mexico, there were strong sentiments of righting a social injustice. However, as with pretty much any location that legalizes, there is also a massive financial incentive.

As far as recreational cannabis being legal in New York, the governor’s office has previously stated that such an industry can create somewhere between 30,000 – 60,000 jobs, and bring in $350 million per year in tax revenue via the 13% sales tax. Tax revenue is already set to go to the New York State Cannabis Revenue Fund, with unused money being split between education, community grants, and drug treatment/public education, at a rate of 40%, 40%, and 20% respectively.

The tax breakdown goes as follows: it’s actually a 9% sales tax, with 4% local taxes added on. Then there’s a separate THC tax which adds on half a cent per mg of flower, and .8 cents per mg of concentrate. For edibles it tacks on three cents per mg.

When looking at New Mexico, there is also a great financial incentive. The Albuquerque Journal stated that the industry is predicted to bring in as much as $20 million for the state by 2023. Said Governor Grisham, “Workers will benefit from the opportunity to build careers in this new economy… Entrepreneurs will benefit from the opportunity to create lucrative new enterprises. The state and local governments will benefit from the additional revenue. Consumers will benefit from the standardization and regulation that comes with a bona fide industry.”

recreational cannabis

What this means for federal policy

Any location with separate governments for federal and state, are likely to at some point have the issue of one going up against the other. It can be seen in the EU, where different member states create policies that go against EU law, like when France went up against the EU over CBD sales. It can be seen in Australia, where Canberra is the only legal state for recreational cannabis use in an otherwise illegal country. And it can certainly be seen in the US, where out of 50 states, a third now allow recreational cannabis for legal adult use, including New York. So, how long can a federal policy stand as the states it governs change policy to go against it?

I haven’t seen a direct answer to this question, but it’s an important question. At what number of states with opposing laws, does the federal mandate no longer hold? Though there might not be a technical answer to this, the logic answer is that regardless of whether it would legally push a change to have a majority of states/people under legal policies in opposition to the federal law, it would certainly create some tension.

Perhaps the six states that have adopted legalization policies since the last election have now finally put enough pressure on the federal government to make some changes. After all, the last thing the federal government wants is to look weak against a whole bunch of state governments which are no longer complying with it.

Perhaps it was these recent legal updates that inspired Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s statement that this year the government would aim to pass sweeping legislation that would finally end the federal ban. This would act to instill regulated adult-use markets in every state and territory, and it would work to expunge all cannabis crimes that are no longer crimes without a ban.

While this is still a more liberal-centered movement, republicans are certainly feeling the burn in their voting populations, having to come to terms with the idea that their personal convictions for cannabis illegalization are not meshing with their voters’ desires for legalization. This push from constituents on the right, is helping to aid the left in pushing legislation for lifting the ban.


No one likes to look like an idiot in life, and its this sentiment that will likely be what pushes the US to federal cannabis legalization. It doesn’t want to look silly holding an empty federal law, while every state has its own opposing policy. My guess is that very soon the federal government is going to do a 180º, just to keep this from happening too intensely. In fact, I expect it will happen this year or next at the latest. With recreational cannabis being made legal in New York, that much more pressure has been put on the federal government to legalize the whole country.

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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a medical professional, I have no formal legal education, and I’ve never been to business school. All information in my articles is sourced from other places, which are always referenced, and all opinions stated are mine, and are made clear to be mine. I am not giving anyone advise of any kind, in any capacity. I am more than happy to discuss topics, but should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a professional in the relevant field for more information.

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