February 16 2021,



For several years, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and progressives in the Democrat-controlled state legislature have supported legalizing REC. 

Now, with New Jersey poised to begin sales to all adults, and the state facing a Covid-related budget shortfall, observers speculate that the Empire State could legalize in 2021.  However, passage could be delayed by tensions over dueling bills, one of which promises significantly more money and benefits for equity. 

  • This week Cuomo, who hopes to legalize through the state budget process, which ends April 1, committed more pot tax revenue to an equity fund and announced support for delivery, a business relatively accessible to mom and pop entrepreneurs.

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Next door, New Jersey's REC bill hit another snag.
Asbury Park Press

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

More than 320,000 Americans work in cannabis, according to a new report from Leafly. As the pandemic devastated entire sectors of the economy last year, the legal cannabis sector added 77,300 jobs, more than twice as many as it added in 2019.

The country has more than twice as many cannabis workers as dentists. The job growth, which includes plant-touching and ancillary companies, is all the more remarkable since only about a dozen states account for close to 90% of legal U.S. cannabis sales. 

  • There's an asterisk: Marijuana’s federal illegality probably inflates the number of jobs in the industry. Without interstate trade, and the economies of scale it allows, companies that want to operate in more than one market essentially have to duplicate their operations in each. 
  • For comparison, Marlboro's canna-curious parent company Altria, generates almost 50% more revenue than the cannabis industry with fewer than 9,000 employees. 

Read the whole thing.

IN THE NEWS — 2/17/21

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