Massachusetts is currently the only state in the Northeast to have opened recreational dispensaries. But it looks like that’s about to change. Given the relatively small size of the Northeast states, there are now open rec dispensaries within a very short drive of large populations in neighboring states. Northeast states can no longer insulate themselves from this market. Here’s a quick survey of where things stand in the region:
Maine: Maine legalized recreations sales in 2016, yet not a single dispensary has opened due to a string of issues and disagreements within the government. The new governor is seemingly trying to move things along, but delays still abound.
New Hampshire: Seeing itself surrounded by fully legal states, NH has finally decided to get in on the game. The state House passed a tax and regulate bill just a week ago. New Hampshire is looking for $31 million in taxes. The governor has declared opposition to legalization.
Vermont: In 2018, possession and home grow became legal in VT. But now the state is realizing the shortsightedness of not authorizing a way to buy it in the Green Mountain State. The state government is currently working to authorize retail stores.
Rhode Island: The governor, seeing herself surrounded, has apparently surrendered and called for legalization, with projections of almost $5 million in taxes. Rhode Island’s reluctance to getting dragged in can be seen with it’s highly restrictive proposals that prohibit home grow and high-potency concentrates and edibles.
Connecticut: The current governor made legalization part of his campaign and his agenda. The democrats have both houses in the legislature, so CT might actually pass a law in the near future.
New Jersey: The NJ governor is betting on cannabis taxes to balance the state budget, hoping to bring in $60 million dollars in taxes in 2020.
New York: The governor has made legalization a key piece of his agenda, and wants to include it in his current spending plans (the governor’s office has suggested tax revenues could reach $300 million per year), but there is still real resistance from the state legislature. It goes without saying that a legal recreation market in New York will be a game changer both on the East Coast and nationwide.
The takeaway is that the industry is only headed in one direction in this region.