New York


What's the state of cannabis in the Empire State?


A candid conversation with a local cannabis consultant about what's going on in New York.

The race for New York has begun. All types of entrepreneurs looking to enter the state's cannabis marketplace are busy preparing for the soon-to-be-released application process. Hemp farmers are poised to switch to marijuana crops, legacy entrepreneurs are operating in the open, regulators are shaping the laws, and no one is excited about opening the borders.

I spoke to Kalean Castetter, a long-time upstate resident, son of a legacy grower, owner of a hemp-infused wine company, and now cannabis consultant, to get his insights into how things are shaping up in New York.


New Medical Cannabis Program goes into effect across NY state

THC pills

This expands the eligibility criteria for patients who can benefit from medical cannabis and makes it easier for them to be certified by a medical practitioner.

A new Medical Cannabis Program certification and registration system went into effect on Monday across the state. 

This expands the eligibility criteria for patients who can benefit from medical cannabis and makes it easier for them to be certified by a medical practitioner.

Last year's marijuana regulation and taxation act ensured that this new system will be run by the office of cannabis management instead of the health department.


New York predicts $1.25 billion in pot tax revenue over six years

Times Square

New York is looking at major revenue from cannabis sales over the next six years according to Governor Kathy Hochul.

New York is poised to collect $1.25 billion in revenue from taxes on legal cannabis sales, according to a budget projection from Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul released on Tuesday. The revenue projections are included in the state budget for next year, which includes significant investment in projects designed to continue the economic and social recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


Why New York’s Cannabis Industry Can’t Shut Out the LGBTQ Community

lesbian couple

The State of New York is on its way to fostering the most diverse and equitable cannabis industry in the country, as it will require that about half of all business licenses be awarded to social equity applicants. However, as it stands, the social equity measures outlined in the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) do not include the LGBTQ community, drastically outcasting many of those impacted by prohibition as well as those who served as trailblazers in the marijuana legalization movement.


Almost Half of New York Towns Opt Out of Pot, for Now

new york city

‘Not in my backyard,’ towns say

Around half of New York cities and towns don’t want marijuana dispensaries or consumption lounges, a cautionary signal for companies hoping to do business in the Empire State.

New York is expected to start recreational marijuana sales in the next year or so, likely becoming the second-biggest market after California, with around $4.2 billion in projected sales. Yet when given a Dec. 31 deadline to opt out of participating, 47% of the state’s 1,521 municipalities opted out of having dispensaries and 54% opted out of having consumption sites, according to data compiled by the Rockefeller Institute of Government as of Jan. 7.


NY Gov. Pledges $200M To Boost Social Equity Efforts As Part Of Cannabis Legalization Program

New York city


New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) is set to pledge $200 million to support social equity applicants within the state’s burgeoning marijuana market.

On Wednesday, Hochul revealed an extensive State of the State book, laying out the plan for 2022, including policies she will pursue as well as her intentions to promote equity and economic justice in the cannabis industry.


Rise of the farmers: Small NY group becomes cannabis power player


One of the most influential groups helping set policy for New York’s legal cannabis industry is led mostly by farmers with little prior political experience — but with early success in representing small to mid-sized marijuana businesses, the group is punching above its weight.


With opt-out deadline in the rearview, municipalities await NYS marijuana regulations


The deadline has passed for municipalities in New York State to opt out of recreational marijuana sales and consumption. Over 600 have said no to dispensaries, and over 700 say they will not allow consumption sites as of now.

Rensselaer Mayor Mike Stammel said his city has not opted out of either opportunity, and he is excited about the economic growth recreational marijuana will bring.

“We are a city that doesn’t have a lot of economic type business that fosters a lot of taxes for us, so something like that probably would,” he explained, “especially a growing facility.”


Democratic lawmaker wants to extend marijuana law benefits to LGBTQ people


New York Sen. Jeremy Cooney's bills respond to LGBTQ people's disproportionately high incarceration rate.

New York State Sen. Jeremy Cooney (D) has filed a bill calling for gay, lesbian, and bisexual New Yorkers to qualify for the state’s cannabis social equity program.

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which legalized marijuana, requires 50% of cannabis business licenses to be granted “to individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition, minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, certified MWBEs, distressed farmers, and service-disabled veterans.”


Legal marijuana must bring true equity

scale of justice

On March 30, 2021, tears glistened in my eyes as I announced the passage of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act in the state Assembly. It had been eight long years since sen. Liz Krueger, my ally and co-sponsor, introduced the landmark bill in the state Senate, a blink of an eye compared to the decades of suffering and overcriminalization inflicted on communities of color by prohibition. Our herculean work was supported by a decade of effort and advocacy from courageous legislators and advocates.


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