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New York State Lawmakers Reach a Deal to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

By Eric Volkman - Mar 25, 2021 at 4:53PM

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The Empire State will become the 16th to sanction adult-use cannabis.

A very large domino is about to fall. Numerous media outlets are reporting that New York lawmakers agreed to a deal Thursday under which the sale and consumption of recreational cannabis would be legalized in the state.

Currently, New York permits only medical marijuana for patients qualified to receive the drug as medicine.

According to The New York Times, the arrangement was hammered out by state assembly members and Governor Andrew Cuomo. Among other features, the resulting law crafted by the legislators would allow for the operation of "consumption sites" in which customers could partake of cannabis products. Home cultivation of up to six marijuana plants per person would also be permitted.

New York state road sign with marijuana leaf and population number.

Image source: Getty Images.

A five-member control board will be responsible for the state's oversight of the marijuana industry, which has been eager for years to operate in the high-profile state. 

No official confirmation of the arrangement has yet been made by any of the parties concerned. But that's likely because its language was being finalized as of press time Thursday afternoon, according to the Times story.

New York will become the 16th U.S. state (plus Washington, D.C.) to sanction recreational marijuana. With its tally of over 19.3 million residents, it will be the second most-populous one behind California. The current No. 2, Illinois, has just under 12.6 million people.

At the moment, since New York's medical marijuana regime is fairly limiting, there are relatively few dispensaries operating in the state.

As in basically every other "green" state, Curaleaf (CURLF -1.39%) is active there. Four Curaleaf stores are scattered throughout New York, one of which is located in New York City (specifically, the borough of Queens). Similar to Curaleaf, Cresco Labs' (CRLBF -0.89%) Sunnyside* also has four locations and a New York City dispensary in Brooklyn.


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