Coronavirus Will Not Hinder New York’s Plans to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Updated: May 27

Coronavirus Will Not Hinder New York’s Plans to Legalize Recreational Marijuana


The coronavirus pandemic has had a negative impact on many industries throughout the world. New York has especially been hit hard as the global epicenter of the virus. But despite this recent outbreak, Governor Andrew Cuomo says the effects of COVID-19 will not stop New York from trying to legalize marijuana.


Cuomo told reporters that “We will pass a budget and address the policy items that we laid out and discussed [in January]...We are going to pursue all of them.”

The coronavirus pandemic has had a negative impact on many industries throughout the world. New York has especially been hit hard as the global epicenter of the virus. But despite this recent outbreak, Governor Andrew Cuomo says the effects of COVID-19 will not stop New York from trying to legalize marijuana.


In January 2020, New York had already been planning for some legal changes, where lawmakers discussed and laid out a strategy for banning flavored e-cigarettes, changing certain cash-bail reforms and legalizing recreational marijuana.


In a March 2020 press briefing, right as the novel coronavirus pandemic broke out, Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters that “We will pass a budget and address the policy items that we laid out and discussed [in January]...We are going to pursue all of them.”


New York has made some progress toward full legalization. The state currently has a medical marijuana program. It recently decriminalized recreational use, but just hasn’t fully legalized it yet. New York has a complex set of drug laws made of varying provisions separating medicinal and recreational use, though experts expect the state will break down those barriers very soon.


New York legalized medical marijuana in 2014, awarding licenses for some businesses to grow and sell the plant. While that medical industry thrives in New York, entrepreneurs are eager to sink their teeth into a lucrative recreational market very soon.


In 2020, we still expect to see New York legalize recreational marijuana. While we await full legalization, now is an ideal time to start a business in this field. Our Green Solutions can help by ensuring you become well-positioned to take advantage of this multi-million dollar crop and New York’s promising future. Click here to contact us.


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