Recreational marijuana legalization victories at the ballot box in Arizona and New Jersey this month have set the table for adult-use legalization in a handful of nearby states in 2021 – with more than $6 billion in business opportunities possibly up for grabs within a few years.
“New York, Connecticut, Maryland, New Mexico are ripe for 2021” to legalize recreational use through their legislatures, said Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Washington DC-based Marijuana Policy Project.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf also is pushing hard to legalize adult use to generate tax revenues and to keep pace with neighboring New Jersey.
One incentive for New York and Pennsylvania to act: New Jersey’s legalization of adult-use marijuana on Nov. 3 could result in MJ customers being siphoned from both states.
The coronavirus pandemic also has drained state tax coffers, and some are looking at recreational cannabis to help offset those losses.
Marijuana Business Daily projects that recreational marijuana markets in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Mexico could generate more than $2.5 billion in sales combined during the first full year of their programs and up to $6.4 billion annually within four years. (See graphic above.)