More than two years after pledging support for cannabis legalization, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a legalization bill Wednesday morning that will pave the way for an adult-use market to be launched sometime in early 2022. The states medical program saw slow growth from its start, just reaching $111 million in sales in 2020, but the legalization of adult-use will reposition New York to be one of the biggest cannabis markets in the country by 2026.
Gov. Cuomo has signaled his openness to adult-use cannabis since early 2019, but disputes over licensure, tax rates and the allocation of cannabis revenue have blocked the progress of adult-use legalization until just last week. While previous efforts focused on using the state budget as a method to legalize, the Governor’s office and legislature agreed on a separate bill, which passed through the legislature on March 30, 2021 and was signed into law the next morning. BDSA predicts that sales will start in Q1 2022.