Dutchess County is expected to be one of the counties that benefits the most from New York’s legalization of adult use cannabis. With its proximity to New York City, existing infrastructure, and ample farmland, Dutchess is likely to receive an economic boom from cannabis commerce. 30,000 to 60,000 jobs are estimated to be created in New York. Given the wealth of resources in the county, Dutchess is in a prime position to create many of those jobs.
Once the regulations are set and the government offices are staffed, residents of Dutchess will be eligible for a license to grow, process, distribute, sell or even serve cannabis products. In other states that have legalized cannabis, businesses and residents have seen increased commerce from an entirely new source. Local Dutchess businesses and residents are expected to enjoy similar economic growth and benefits.
A key component to the county’s success will be its rich and fertile agricultural history. Dutchess boasts close to 200,000 acres in agricultural districts. By legalizing adult use cannabis, existing farms and nurseries may be able to pivot into cannabis cultivation thereby substantially increasing their profitability. Likewise, disadvantaged communities that once thrived may have the opportunity to reinvigorate their town with brick and mortar businesses such as dispensaries, processing sites, distribution hubs, laboratory testing facilities, professional offices, and other related uses.
Dutchess also benefits from its location at the crossroad of Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the upstate and downstate areas of New York. Route 84 in southern Dutchess is a well-traveled interstate that serves as a vital artery for freight between Connecticut and Pennsylvania. The New York State thruway connects Dutchess to Albany and parts of upstate New York. The Taconic State Parkway allows consumers to travel to Dutchess, and highway 684 allows commercial transportation. These roads are ripe to facilitate distribution of cannabis products from growers in the rural areas to dispensaries in the more densely populated areas in New York City and neighboring states.
In addition to the various license types, New York law makers also inserted strong social justice provisions and restrictions on vertical integration in order to help foster minority owned businesses entering the cannabis space. For example, the law is designed to prevent a large, predominantly white owned out of state business from “cornering the market” in New York by opening a cannabis dispensary on every street corner. Small minority owned businesses will essentially receive preferential treatment when applying for licenses. Diverse members of Dutchess County’s population would be well advised to seek out these opportunities for social equity licenses.
On the administrative side, the New York Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) will draft regulations setting the license application details including eligibility criteria, application fees, geographic restrictions, and other information. We are still waiting for those positions to be filled. The New York State Legislature ended its session this summer with no appointments made to the OCM. Legislators are now predicting the state’s cannabis market to open in 2022
It is important to note that local municipalities may “opt out” of having retail sites such as dispensaries and on-site consumption sites opened in their jurisdiction. The deadline for opting out is December 31, 2021.
Regardless of one’s personal or political views on whether cannabis should be legal, the national and international trend appears to favor legalization. The cannabis industry is rapidly growing. Now that New York has legalized adult use cannabis, the cannabis industry will no doubt take a strong hold in New York, resulting in millions of dollars in much needed tax revenue.
How A Cannabis Attorney Can Help You
A local cannabis attorney can help you with many aspects of running your cannabis business. We have experience dealing with:
- State and local government agencies
- Real estate transactions
- Business entity formation, and
- Other related legal issues.
Contact a Dutchess County, NY Cannabis Attorney to Discuss Your Needs
It is never too early to call us if you are considering starting a cannabis business in Dutchess County, New York. Our telephone number is (914) 338-8050. Our local cannabis law attorneys (also referred to as marijuana business lawyers) look forward to hearing from you.