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All Eyes on New York as Legalization Looms

New York’s recreational marijuana market is poised to begin with a big splash — and it’s one that may well ripple around the world, according to speakers at a packed “Business of Cannabis: New York” conference last week.

The state’s industry, which is expected to begin licensed sales around 2023, will see revenue of $1.1 billion within the first year, said Cy Scott, chief executive officer of cannabis data company Headset Inc. Initially, sales will be driven by regular cannabis consumers jumping into the legal market from the thriving illicit one, he said during a presentation at the Rainbow Room in Manhattan.

“Then, normalization will drive other consumers — the soccer moms will come in,” Scott said, speaking to an audience that mixed beards, buffalo plaid and baseball caps with business casual.

Within a few years, Headset forecasts $3 billion in sales with New York likely surpassing Canada and becoming the world’s second-largest legal market after California, which currently has around $5 billion in annual sales.

This will mean plenty of jobs and tax revenue. Yoko Miyashita, CEO of marketplace platform Leafly Holdings Inc., told me she expects 20,000 full time jobs to be created in the first 18 months of legal sales and around 60,000 within five years. Leafly’s forecast is for annual sales to reach $3.5 billion in the five years after legalization, meaning the state would see about $450 million a year in tax revenue. [Read More @ Bloomberg]

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