Two states could legalize recreational cannabis. Combined, the number of potential new customers will dwarf all others in the region.
Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts voter and legislature efforts have brought recreational legal cannabis to the East Coast (though Vermont still has to work out its commercial market for it).
But, as I’ve noted here at Cannabis Profits Daily, two much more important markets are getting ready to come online. The question is which will pass a law first and which will convert from passage to a live retail program quicker.
I’m talking, of course, about New York and New Jersey – and the massive opportunity in the potential consumer base from the 21 million adults living in one state or the other.
New York will legalize cannabis for recreational use within the next 100 days. So said Governor Andrew Cuomo this past Monday.
I’ve been predicting since we launched in October that New York would make this change sooner rather than later. The pressure to capture some of the tax revenue that otherwise will go to neighboring states is too much for Cuomo, a former cannabis opponent, to bear. New York may just win the race with New Jersey, as well.
New Jersey was on the brink of passing its own legalization efforts. Governor Phil Murphy and legislative leaders had hoped to get a vote on the New Jersey legislature’s last day of its 2018 session, December 14, but they ran out of time among last minute negotiations over some details.
Advocates won’t have to wait for long for resolution in either state, as the 2019 session begins on January 9 in each state with cannabis a high priority item.
Importantly, each wants to beat its neighbor to establishing a market and start to draw those legal cannabis revenues that other states have been boasting about, the kind that have exceeded projections all over the country (in Nevada‘s recreational program, in Maryland‘s medical-only program, etc.).
New York and New Jersey will be next. They will not be last.
Legalization there will put pressure on Pennsylvania to consider recreational legalization for the same reasons as the others: increased tax revenue, creating jobs for residents, crippling black market drug dealers, and so on. Rhode Island is rumored to already be discussing ending its prohibition as well. And our Institute contacts close to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan tell us the administration is starting to consider a push there to expand legalization now that the medical program has settled in well. If it doesn’t get in during 2019, it will by early 2020.
In the long run, the CEO from one of the best picks in our Cannabis Investor’s Report portfolio predicted that markets in the U.S. Northeast could rival the enormous market potential in California. I don’t see much in the way of data or anecdotal information out there right now to suggest he’s wrong.
Thanks for being an important part of the National Institute for Cannabis Investors,
Executive Director, National Institute for Cannabis Investors