New York’s Pot Legalization “Disaster” Was Entirely Predictable

Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“Three years after New York legalized marijuana, unauthorized pot shops outnumber licensed retailers by more than 20 to 1. Legislators and regulators could have avoided this ‘disaster,’ as Gov. Kathy Hochul rightly calls it, if they had learned from the mistakes of other states that have struggled to displace the black market. Disregarding those lessons, New York politicians somehow did not anticipate what would happen after people could legally use marijuana but could not obtain it from legal sources. Legislators did not allow home cultivation, and they initially did not allow medical dispensaries to serve the recreational market. The state created a complicated, expensive, and painfully slow licensing process that sacrificed efficiency on the altar of ‘equity’ and ‘diversity.’ It imposed burdensome fees, taxes, and regulations that made it difficult for legal dispensaries to compete with the unlicensed stores that sprang up to fill the supply gap.” (04/03/24)