On Wednesday, New York became the 15th state to legalize recreational cannabis, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the recently passed bill into law.
The legislation — which allows adults over 21 to possess small amounts of cannabis, cultivate up to six plants and buy marijuana from licensed retailers — will have immense consequences in the operational and financial outlooks of multistate operators with presence in the state.
“Without a doubt, New York City is the behemoth of the East Coast. We cannot underestimate the size of the adult-use cannabis market in the state,” said Jennifer Dooley, chief strategy officer at Green Thumb Industries (OTCQX: GTBIF).
Public Cannabis Companies Aim For New York Rec Market
Curaleaf (OTCQX: CURLF), Columbia Care (OTCQX: CCHWF), Cresco Labs (OTCQX: CRLBF), Vireo Health (OTCQX: VREOF) and Green Thumb Industries all tell Benzinga they plan to enter New York’s recreational market.
“Under the new legislation we will have the ability to cultivate, manufacture, distribute and dispense cannabis products for adult-use,” says Cresco Labs CEO and co-founder Charlie Bachtell.
The company holds one of the 10 vertically integrated licenses from New York's medical program, with four dispensaries in the state and a processing facility for manufactured products.
GTI’s Dooley says her company has a successful record of transitioning medical retail locations into adult-use stores, as it did in Illinois in 2020, Massachusetts in 2019 and Nevada in 2017.
GTI operates three retail locations in New York and holds a cultivation and processing license.
Albe Zakes, VP of corporate communications at Vireo Health, says the proposed recreational program will allow registered medical cannabis operators like Vireo to acquire additional recreational dispensary licenses while maintaining existing medical-only locations.
The company operates four dispensaries in the state and a 66,000-square-foot cultivation and processing facility.
“While the historic legislation passed today establishes the program’s framework, many of the details will be determined by the newly formed Office of Cannabis Management. Therefore, it is too early to discuss our exact go-to-market plans,” says Zakes.
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