Many New Yorkers have been heading to Massachusetts, and it is not for the famous clam chowder. People are making the drive up to get their fix of legalized cannabis since Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature couldn’t get their act together. Dispensaries have been seeing a large flock of customers from neighboring states especially the Empire State.
The neighboring state legalized recreational marijuana in 2017 and began authorizing dispensaries to sell the product the following year. Massachusetts pockets 17% of the 20% sales tax on cannabis. With all the sales, this means more money for The Bay State
Under the state’s law, dispensaries can sell up to 1 ounce of marijuana daily to customers 21 years or older. While it might be legal to buy marijuana in Massachusetts, the plant is still considered a narcotic under federal law and is still illegal to possess in New York. Therefore, New York residents transporting the drug over are still breaking the law and can risk facing charges.
Just recently, the state expanded on its marijuana decriminalization bill (click here for specifics). So if you do get caught, you will receive a fine of $50, originally $100, for unlawful possession for a first offense, depending on the amount of cannabis you possess. New York did have the opportunity multiple times to join the other 11 states. Sadly, lawmakers could not agree on some of the details in the legalization including how the tax revenue would be spent and whether past pot convictions should be expunged or not.
Overall, people are going to these dispensaries because they want regulated and safe cannabis that has been tested. Different strains affect people differently. So many individuals want to get more information on the product to cater to their needs. Hopefully in 2020, New York is able to successfully legalize recreational marijuana and create a well put together legislation.