A marijuana bill in New York offers social relief, but misses on legalization revenue goals.
The cannabis market saw a win on Monday (July 29) as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a bill decriminalizing marijuana use and possession. This new law also creates a system for convictions related to cannabis to be expunged.
In a tweet, Cuomo said the bill will offer relief to minority communities that have been impacted by marijuana laws.
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The bill is set to come into effect 30 days after becoming law in the state.
I just signed legislation decriminalizing marijuana use in New York & creating a process for expunging past convictions.
Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana for far too long, and today we are ending this injustice. pic.twitter.com/PBSXWbQtiW
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 29, 2019
However, the bill fails to introduce tax revenue sharing for cannabis sales as part of a larger legalization process for the state. NBC New York reported that state lawmakers hope a vote on legalization will be on the horizon, with the option to open the market in 2019.
“It’s not legalization,” Cuomo said, according to NBC New York. “But it is decriminalization and it’s a major, major accomplishment.”
According to a report from Marijuana Moment, the full legalization bill was stalled in New York due to a disagreement in sales revenue tax allocation and the option for singular communities to opt out from letting marijuana businesses operate.
In January, Cuomo projected that tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales could result in US$300 million for the first three years.
Two Canada-based marijuana exchange-traded funds focused on the US cannabis market saw a marginal market reaction from the announcement on Monday.
The Evolve US Marijuana ETF (NEO:USMJ) closed at a price of C$15.57, representing a drop in value of 0.7 percent, while its counterpart, the Horizons US Marijuana Index ETF (NEO:HMUS), finished the trading day up 0.15 percent up for a price of C$6.83.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.