The Coalition for Access to Regulated & Safe Cannabis (CARSC), which represents licensed registered medical cannabis operators and equity applicants excluded from New York's nascent adult-use market, released a report detailing the severe degree to which the state's adult-use cannabis program is failing to meet tax revenue targets.
Coming into 2023, NYS projected it would generate $56 million in state cannabis tax revenues in the first year of legal adult-use sales, with most of the money — $40 million — coming from licensing fees paid by growers and sellers.
"Even if New York reached its $56 million projection, which is highly unlikely at the current pace, the state will have generated less tax revenue than Massachusetts, Oregon, and Michigan did in their first year of adult-use cannabis sales. That is completely unacceptable.
"How is it that Montana, with less than half the population of Queens, can generate nearly $42 million in new tax revenue in their first year of adult-use cannabis sales, but New York can't get its act together to break $56 million?
"The answer is simple: the Office of Cannabis Management's (OCM) anemic pace of licensing has allowed the illicit market to thrive while vetted social equity applicants and registered organizations languish in a bureaucratic morass with little hope of competing. As a result, Social Equity applicants have been harmed most because they are ostensibly the beneficiaries of the tax revenue, which is non-existent, while simultaneously being the least equipped to compete with the illicit market.
"The current state of the cannabis market in New York is an unmitigated disaster. Despite its enormous potential, regulators have neglected their responsibilities, and their failure to act puts consumers at risk, restricts equity participation, and the MRTA's intended beneficiaries – disproportionately impacted communities – are missing out on millions of dollars of critical tax revenue while putting consumers at risk."
Source: Coalition for Access to Regulated & Safe Cannabis