The cannabis market in the U.S. is undergoing massive changes, both in terms of challenges and opportunities. The newly legalized state markets along the East Coast will likely drive growth in the coming years, even though the oldest legal adult-use state markets reported decreasing revenues in 2022. By 2030, the legal industry could generate $71 billion in sales as more states legalize medical or recreational cannabis markets.
The year 2023 has been a monumental year for the cannabis industry. As 2023 comes to a close, it’s worth looking back at how far New York and Ohio cannabis markets have progressed since recreational cannabis legalization and other key events.
This blog will give you an insight into what the future of the cannabis industry has in store for 2024 and beyond.
How Has The New York Cannabis Market Progressed In 2023?
On 31 March 2023, New York became the fifteenth state to legalize cannabis for recreational use by adults 21 years of age and older. The new law permits individuals to cultivate up to six plants at home and possess up to three ounces of cannabis. It also establishes a social equity program to help communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs and dismisses prior cannabis convictions.
The roll-out of recreational cannabis in New York has been challenging owing to the shortage of retail properties, lawsuits, funding for social equity licenses, and local government opt-outs.
As a result, only about a handful of state-approved dispensaries have opened for business more than nine months after sales began. More than 400 provisional license holders are in a precarious legal situation as a result of challenges to the state’s licensing process. There aren’t enough stores to sell the harvest of marijuana, which is making producers worried.
In the midst of these challenges, state regulators are now expanding the market. With an objective of issuing more than 1,000 new licenses, they launched a 60-day (till 18 December) public application window for the cultivation, processing, distribution, and sale of marijuana. Additionally, new regulations will permit businesses authorized to grow and sell medical marijuana in New York to enter the recreational market.
New York’s cannabis industry journey has been full of ups and downs in 2023. In 2024, New York is expected to be the hub for legal cannabis on the East Coast.
How Has The Cannabis Market In Ohio Progressed During 2023?
The Buckeye State became the 24th state to approve recreational marijuana in November, and the law went into full effect on 7 December 2023. This is noteworthy because, as recently as 2015, Ohio rejected a ballot initiative that was similar to this one.
Although, Ohio legalized marijuana for recreational use on December 7th, sales won’t start until at least the fall of 2024. This is the consequence of the drawn-out procedure involved in developing and putting into effect the laws and guidelines governing the recreational marijuana industry.
The newly established Cannabis Control Division of the Ohio Department of Commerce will be in charge of managing the cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensary licensing process.
There is a competitive and protracted approval process for licenses, and the number of licenses available is limited.
Three levels of licenses will be available, and the division will have nine months to begin granting them: Licenses for adult use processors, adult use dispense stores, and adult growers at levels 1 and 2 are available.
As stated on its website, the Ohio Department of Commerce intends to initially only issue 50 dispensary licenses and 40 level 3 cultivator licenses. Every medical marijuana facility in the state that is currently in operation can also receive a recreational license from the Cannabis Division under Issue 2.
Recreational Cannabis Legalization Progress
As of November 2023, cannabis use for both medical and recreational purposes is legal in 24 states in the U.S. Over the past two years, several states have legalized recreational use.
In December 2022, sales kicked off in New York and Rhode Island. This year saw the start of sales in Connecticut, Maryland, and Missouri.
This year, several states attempted and failed to legalize marijuana for recreational use. This includes Oklahoma, where voters in March 2023 rejected the state’s legalization of marijuana for recreational use.