When it comes to legalizing recreational marijuana, striking the right balance on issues like taxation and the speed with which the state ramps up the market will be key to New York’s success, according to James Parrott, director of economic and fiscal policies at the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School.
Parrott is co-author, with Michele Mattingly, a consultant in labor market economics, of a new report titled, “Economic and Revenue Impact of Marijuana Legalization in NYS A Fresh Look,” which assumes that New York will join the ranks of 15 other states that have legalized cannabis for recreational use.
You can read the report here. Parrott explained to Capital Tonight that while Governor Cuomo’s version of legalization might raise more revenue, the state needs to be careful that it doesn’t price its product higher than other northeastern states, like Massachusetts and New Jersey which have already legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Another area in which the state needs to walk a fine line is where medical marijuana companies are concerned, according to Parrott.
“New York wants to try to capture as much of the market as possible and generate revenue for state and local governments. In order to more quickly capture the illicit market, it makes sense to allow the medical marijuana industry in,” Parrott said.
However, because the medical marijuana industry is already well-capitalized and well-established, allowing it to dominate the recreational marijuana industry would only serve to quash any potential small retail and agricultural opportunities that both the governor’s and the legislature’s bills both want to foster.
“These are both important issues that New York needs to discuss in detail,” Parrott stated.