Saturday, June 15, 2024

Will The Empire Or Garden State Legalize Weed First?

The latest big question looming as New Jersey continues to drag its feet in adult-use cannabis legalization is this: will New York now get there first? And if New York does go first, what will it mean for the New Jersey marketplace once it opens?

It’s true, New Yorkers don’t often have call to cross into New Jersey. Maybe that’s where their family lives or they’re shore lovers. Perhaps the casinos call every now and again or a football game can’t be missed. But what experts think will really draw the Big Apple crowd to the Jersey side is legal cannabis, according to That draw would mean even heftier tax revenue for the state, but that’s only if it legalizes first.

Plenty of Northern New Jerseyans commute to New York for work, entertainment and shopping every day, and though Gov. Phil Murphy is more gung-ho about cannabis legalization than NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems to be, Cuomo has been warming up to the idea of cannabis legalization in a big way recently. Plus, Cynthia Nixon of  “Sex And The City” fame is planning a run against Cuomo in the coming gubernatorial primary and part of her platform is the legalization of cannabis in NY state.

Likely because he is soon facing off with Nixon in a high stakes election, Cuomo recently commissioned a study into what cannabis legalization in New York would look like. Well, the study is complete and the results came back positive. New York is pregnant with the need for legalization. The study showed that the benefits to recreational allowance outweighed the negatives and the once anti-marijuana Cuomo appears to have been convinced.

NJ’s Murphy ran on a partial platform of cannabis legalization, touting that he’d have it legalized in his first 100 days in office. Those days have come and gone, and Murphy has fixed up and expanded medical use, but legalization is proving a harder sell to the State Senate. They’re reportedly getting closer to an agreement, but only time will tell.

Whichever state does end up coming in first will likely reap some extra tax revenue from residents of the other, but either way it’s a win and either way both states seem to be leaning in the direction of imminent legalization, so there is much to celebrate in the way of cannabis on both sides of the Hudson River.


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