As New York State finally decriminalizes cannabis, what will the industry look like? We explore the possibilities.
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Cannabis has been legalized for medicinal and recreational use in some states, but it remains illegal under federal law. The inconsistent legal status of cannabis creates challenges for businesses and individuals operating in the cannabis industry in New York.
The state of New York has not legalized cannabis for recreational use, but it has decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis and established a medical cannabis program. The state’s decriminalization laws went into effect in 1977, and the medical cannabis program was established in 2014.
Cannabis is widely available in New York City, and there are an estimated 800,000 to 1 million people using cannabis recreationally in the city. However, because possession of small amounts of cannabis is still a criminal offense, there is a risk of arrest for possession.
The police have discretion when enforcement of the decriminalization law, and they have been known to target people of color and low-income individuals for possession offenses. This has led to concerns about inequitable enforcement of the law.
The state’s medical cannabis program is regulated by the New York State Department of Health (DOH). eligible patients must be certified by a DOH-licensed practitioner to participate in the program. There are currently over 70,000 registered patients in the program.
Patients can purchase medical cannabis from one of the state’s 10 licensed dispensaries. Dispensaries are not allowed to sell recreational cannabis. However, unlicensed dispensaries are common in New York City, and they often sell both medical and recreational cannabis.
The DOH regulates the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and sale of medical cannabis products sold at dispensaries. Licensed cultivators can supply medical cannabis products to licensed dispensaries; however, they are not allowed to sell directly to patients. Licensed manufacturers can produce various types of medical cannabis products such as tinctures, capsules, concentrates, and topical formulations sold at dispensaries
The Different Types of Cannabis
Cannabis can be consumed in many different ways, and each method will produce a different “ high.” The most common ways to consume cannabis are:
Smoking: Cannabis can be smoked using a pipe, bong, joint or blunt. This is the most common way to consume cannabis, and is also the quickest way to feel the effects.
Vaping: Vaping is a newer method of consuming cannabis. A cannabis vaporizer heats the product to a temperature that turns the active ingredients into vapor, which is then inhaled. Vaping is becoming increasingly popular because it produces little to no smell and can be done discreetly.
Edibles: Edible cannabis products are made by infusing food with cannabis extract. These products can come in many different forms, including candy, baked goods and tinctures. Edibles can take up to two hours to take effect, so it’s important to start with a low dose and wait before consuming more.
Topicals: Topical cannabis products are applied directly to the skin and are absorbed through the pores. These products are often used for localized pain relief or skin conditions like psoriasis.
The Pros and Cons of Cannabis
The debate around cannabis legalization is complex, and there are pros and cons to both sides of the argument. Supporters of legalization say that it will generate tax revenue, create jobs, reduce crime, and improve public health. Opponents worry about the potential for increased drug use and impaired driving, among other things.
So what would cannabis legalization actually look like in New York? Here are some key points to consider:
-Taxes: Under a legal system, cannabis would be subject to state and local taxes. These taxes could potentially generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the state.
-Jobs: Legal cannabis businesses would create new jobs in a variety of industries, from agriculture to retail to technology.
-Public health: Legalization could lead to better regulation of cannabis products, which could make them safer for consumers. It could also open up opportunities for research into the medical uses of cannabis.
-Crime: Proponents of legalization say that it would take away the illegal market for cannabis, which would reduce crime. However, opponents say that legal cannabis could lead to increased drug use and impaired driving.
-New York’s stance: Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that he is open to considering legalization, but he has not yet taken a firm stance on the issue. The state legislature is currently working on bills that would legalize cannabis in some form.
The Different Ways to Consume Cannabis
Cannabis can be consumed in many different ways, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. The most common methods of consuming cannabis are smoking, vaporizing, eating/drinking edibles, and using topicals.
Smoking: Smoking is the most common way to consume cannabis. It is also the fastest way to feel the effects of cannabis as the THC is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the lungs. The drawbacks of smoking cannabis are that it can be harsh on the lungs and it is difficult to control the dosage.
Vaporizing: Vaporizing heats cannabis to a temperature where the THC is released in a vapor but the plant material is not burned. This method is less harsh on the lungs than smoking and it is easier to control the dosage. The main drawback of vaporizing is that it requires a special device called a vaporizer, which can be expensive.
Eating/Drinking Edibles: Edibles are food or drinks that contain cannabis. They are a popular choice for people who do not want to smoke or vaporize their cannabis. Edibles can take a long time to take effect (up to two hours) and it can be difficult to control the dosage, which can lead to accidental overconsumption.
Topicals: Topicals are creams, lotions, or oils that contain cannabis and are applied directly to the skin. They are popular for treating pain and other medical conditions without any psychoactive effects (the “high” feeling). The main drawback of topicals is that they have a low bioavailability, which means that only a small amount of the THC actually enters the bloodstream.
The Future of Cannabis in New York
The future of cannabis in New York is shrouded in a bit of mystery. While the state has legalized medical cannabis and decriminalized recreational use, there is still much uncertainty surrounding what the industry will look like in the coming years.
There are a few things that we do know, however. New York’s medical cannabis program is set to expand significantly in the next year, and there is a strong possibility that recreational legalization will be on the ballot in 2019. This means that, in the near future, cannabis will become more accessible to more people in New York.
What this will mean for the industry as a whole is hard to say. There is a chance that it will lead to explosive growth, as has been seen in other states that have legalized cannabis. However, it is also possible that the industry will develop more slowly, as has been the case in Massachusetts.
Only time will tell what the future of cannabis in New York looks like. However, one thing is for sure: it is an exciting time to be involved in the industry.