Late last week I returned from vacation in the mountains of Northern California and Nevada. On the plane home, I was reflecting on how different life is from the pacific northwest to the tri-state area here in the Northeast!
My good friend Shannon in Redding, California asked me about a disturbing story he read online on what New York State was doing with our “Recreational Marijuana” Laws and Implementation. He enjoyed my “rant response” which was the trigger to this week’s column!
California was the first state to legalize “Medical Marijuana” in 1996. Since then, 40 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical use and 23 of those states have approved “recreational or adult use.”
Washington and Colorado were the first states to legalize “recreational cannabis” use in 2012 as it took California 20 years to pass “adult-use” cannabis in 2016. On March 31st, 2021, New York State legalized cannabis.
According to a new report by MjBizDaily, Americans spent roughly $30 billion on “Legal Marijuana” in 2022, compared to $20 billion on chocolate. They predict $33 billion this year and by 2028, sales of legal weed will climb to $57 billion.
New York State was getting into the business for financial reasons as our state lost $25 billion in adjusted gross tax revenue in 2021, because of the exodus of many affluent tax-paying NYS residents who moved to other states! Although prohibited under federal law, 19 states levy some type of excise state tax on recreational cannabis purchases.
One thing I noticed out west is that I barely saw or smelled the pungent aroma of cannabis on the street compared to New York City, where it seems to smell on almost every block. The reasoning Shannon gave me is because California does not allow cannabis consumption in public places, whereas New York State allows public consumption in places where cigarettes can be smoked which includes near schools and by the entrance steps of train stations, for example.
A book could be written on ALL the gaffes the current NYS administration has made, which has put us in the “out of control” situation we are currently in. Here are a few of their mistakes below:
The combination of not paying attention to recent history, too many licensing red tape delays, and looking the other way, has left us in the precarious position we are in today!
Here are some of the results:
These problems are not going away anytime soon and could get worse before they get better. New York City needs to take immediate action, regardless of what the state does, or doesn’t do. We have a rat czar, perhaps it’s time for a Cannabis Czar? Feel free to share your thoughts with me at Rob@InsuranceDoctor.us.