The Northeast is ready to alter the American cannabis market, and New York City could become the pot capital of the world. That was among the topics discussed on Tuesday at the 2022 Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago.
With a combined population of 33 million, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have been rushing to open leisure markets. Millions of additional East Coast residents who live in nearby states are now conveniently close to legal marijuana.
Many industry watchers predict that New York City will overtake the West Coast as the cannabis industry’s hub after years of playing second fiddle.
The city’s Wall Street influence may provide the long-needed impetus for federal decision-makers to embrace a nationwide legalization strategy; however, multi-state operators aren’t going it alone; they’re also depending on alliances and smaller players to succeed.
For the industry to take hold, the East Coast states need to give licenses to social equity players, and not just multi-state-operators, says Aaron Miles, CIO at Verano Holdings Inc VRNOF.
“The market has to be successful — when you look at a market like New York, if it doesn’t succeed, and the illicit market doesn’t come over, nobody is going to win,” Miles said at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference on Tuesday. “It’s the regulators that need to get up to speed on what the industry looks like.”
New York cannabis leaders say they’re not concerned by the competition posed by New Jersey and Connecticut. Instead, they’re focused on fulfilling social equity goals, which is a major focus for the overall success of the industry.
“Small players need access to capital — handing out a license doesn’t fix the problem,” Miles said. “It’s the first step in creating a symbiosis and the partnership across the board — the tide needs to rise for all ships.”
Image and article originally from www.benzinga.com. Read the original article here.