Get ready for the Northeast to become cannabis country

The Northeast is poised to transform the U.S. cannabis industry — and make New York City the nation’s weed capital.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — with a combined population of 33 million — are scrambling to open recreational markets in the coming months. Millions of other East Coast residents in neighboring states will suddenly find themselves within an easy drive of legal weed.

After years of taking a back seat to the West Coast, many industry observers believe that New York City will become the center of the cannabis industry. And the city’s outsized influence could be the long-sought catalyst for federal leaders to pursue a national legalization approach.

“New York is going to be Amsterdam on steroids,” said Jeanne Sullivan, a longtime New York-based cannabis investor, citing the tens of millions of tourists who flock to the city every year.

Despite the liberal leanings of East Coast states, the region has lagged on cannabis because many do not allow citizens to place initiatives on the ballot. Most states that have liberalized their cannabis laws have done so through voter-led efforts.

But last year, New York and Connecticut passed legalization legislation, while New Jersey lawmakers approved a legal cannabis framework, carrying out a 2020 ballot measure allowing adult use. [Read more at Politico]

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