The push for legal and recreational marijuana is sweeping America. Delaware has just become the 22nd state to legalize recreational cannabis – and four more states could join the party in the coming years.
In the densely populated tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, the rollout of legal weed has been described as slow and cumbersome, allowing for the proliferation of storefronts and “grey” market businesses. to sell marijuana without going through the regulatory process. In New York, for example, the mayor’s office estimates that the city is home to 1,400 illicit businesses selling unlicensed marijuana.
“These legitimate businesses face fierce competition from stores that don’t play by the rules,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a briefing. February 7 press conference. “It’s time for the operation of unlicensed cannabis dispensaries to cease.”
At the same time, state officials are trying to right the historic wrongs caused by the decades-long “War on Drugs.” New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey all have social equity elements in their recreational marijuana programs, focusing on licensing applicants with previous marijuana convictions.
“Every cannabis company should focus on hiring people who have already been charged with cannabis and people who come from communities affected by the War on Cannabis,” said Social Equity candidate Tahir Johnson, who is set to open Simply Pure Trenton, in New Jersey’s capital.
The recreational marijuana market is a high-stakes business. The domestic cannabis market is estimated to reach $71 billion in sales by 2030, according to data from research firm New Frontier. And the New York State market alone could account for 10% of that, according to data forecasts.
Watch the video above to find out how the legal cannabis rollout is unfolding in America’s most populous metropolitan area, how the surge in legal weed is attracting a new class of entrepreneurs, and how anti-marijuana activists try to slow down the fast. rate of legal adoption of cannabis.