The Sale of Recreational Marijuana Has Been Legalized in New York: Authorities Expect to Create a Thousand Workplaces

1:35 pm  |  19.06.2021

The adoption of the law will also lead to the removal of thousands of convictions. In 2020, Blacks and Latinos accounted for 94 percent of arrests related to the cannabis trade.


In New York City, the Upper and Lower Houses of the Legislative Assembly approved a bill legalizing the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Now, in order for the initiative to become law, the document must be signed by State Governor Andrew Cuomo.

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If the bill is passed, several thousand New York State residents previously charged with trafficking in cannabis will have their convictions expunged.

In 2020, Blacks and Latinos accounted for 94 per cent of all drug-related arrests in the state.

The Government expects that the bill will create 30,000 to 60,000 new workplaces. However, the Government has not been able to implement the bill. The estimated tax revenue from the industry could be $350 million a year.

In the summer of 2019, cannabis use was decriminalized in New York City, after which possession of a small amount of cannabis ceased to be a criminal offense.

Conditions for Legalization

  • Recreational (non-medical) use of marijuana will be available to people over 21 years of age.
  • The new measure allows storage of up to 3 ounces (85 grams) of marijuana and 24 ounces (680.3 grams) of marijuana concentrate.
  • For personal use, residents can grow up to six marijuana plants at home.
  • The legislation will specify the conditions for the establishment of special sites for cannabis use, as well as the process of licensing the delivery of cannabis herb to consumers.
  • The bill also provides for a program to provide loans and grants to the residents of the state, including small farmers who have been disproportionately affected by the «war on drugs».
  • The New York Times reported that the first sales of legal marijuana would probably take place within a year.
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American States Where Marijuana Has Already Been Legalized

When Andrew Cuomo signs the bill, New York will become the 15th American state to allow recreational use of marijuana.

  • As of November 2020, marijuana has been legalized in over 25 states in the United States for therapeutic purposes (for example, in Alaska and Hawaii, Arizona, Arkansas, Vermont, Washington, Delaware, Illinois, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Florida, South Dakota).
  • The following states and territories in the United States have fully legalized both medical and recreational use of cannabis: Alaska, Arizona, Washington, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Montana, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, Michigan, Oregon, DC, and South Dakota.
  • In October 2020, Democratic candidate Kamala Harris announced that if Joseph Biden wins, marijuana will be decriminalized at the federal level. Americans convicted of cannabis-related crimes will be rehabilitated. Biden himself argued in November 2019 for the decriminalization of marijuana.

World Experience

In early March 2021, Mexico legalized the non-medical use of marijuana. Nationals are allowed to own up to 28 grams of cannabis for personal use and to grow up to six plants at home. Earlier, in 2017, the use of marijuana in Mexico had been legalized for medical purposes.

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  • Cannabis is also fully legalized in Uruguay and Canada. Cannabis can be bought, sold, stored and grown there.
  • A further 30 States permitted the use of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. For example, in Brazil, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Czech Republic, Norway.
  • In another 14 countries, cannabis herb can be used exclusively for medical purposes. Among them, Denmark, Italy, Israel, and Turkey.
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Market Forecasts

Euromonitor International predicts that in the next five years, sales of recreational cannabis herb will lead to 376 percent growth in the global legal sales of cannabis. Analysts have estimated that by 2025, recreational cannabis herb will account for 67 percent of global legal sales. By that time, the proportion of medical marijuana will have fallen from the current 23 percent to 9 percent in four years.

The UN Changed the Status of Marijuana

In December 2020, the United Nations (UN) supported part of the World Health Organization (WHO) proposals to change the status of cannabis. In particular, the United Nations has eliminated cannabis and its resin as one of the most addictive substances. Of the organization’s 53 member States, 27 expressed support for the initiative. Twenty-five countries, including Russia and China, opposed and one country, Ukraine, abstained.

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  • United Nations support is exclusively for the medical use of marijuana, which is already permitted in some countries in Europe and parts of the United States.
  • The decision does not oblige countries with UN membership to change their legislation. In doing so, it could lead to a more active study of the substance.
  • Although the UN has removed marijuana from the list of dangerous drugs, it is still considered a psychoactive substance. Only some areas of application have been affected by the changes.


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