This news story further proves that whenever a government gets involved in any business, many of those business owners struggle to flourish past the taxes implemented. Naturally, those same owners would be wise to check the tax laws in each state before starting a business there.

The state of New York has one of the highest taxes in the United States, and with its recent legalization of marijuana sales, the Empire State is not gaining but losing millions of dollars in tax revenue.

At the start of 2023, New York projected it would generate $56 million in state cannabis tax revenues in its first year of “legal adult-use sales with $40 million coming from licensing fees paid by growers and sellers.”

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At present, New York has only raised roughly $16 million in retail revenue since opening its first legal dispensary in December, according to reports. With only 15 dispensaries legally open, there remains to be hundreds of illegal marijuana dealers operating under state regulation.

“The current state of the cannabis market in New York is an unmitigated disaster,” said Reverend Kirsten Foy of the Coalition for Access to Regulated & Safe Cannabis.

“Despite its enormous potential, regulators have neglected their responsibilities and their failure to act puts consumers at risk, restricts equity participation and the MRTA’s intended beneficiaries –disproportionately impacted communities – are missing out on millions of dollars of critical tax revenue while putting consumers at risk,” Foy adds.

The state’s Office of Cannabis Management has proposed a few ideas to fix the rollout of the legal cannabis market, some ideas including allowing farmers to sell cannabis at farmer’s markets.

“We know there are product issues in terms of making sure that the supply chain is flowing, but also the biggest really key solution is just opening up more dispensaries, which we remain diligently focused on and excited to see more of those open in the coming months,” said Chris Alexander, the agency’s executive director.

Even if New York were to come close to its $56 million projected revenue goal, it would unfortunately lag far behind other states that have recently legalized marijuana.

Meanwhile, we are pretty sure that the illegal growers and sellers remain flourishing, financially without the government in their pockets looking for a piece of the special brownie pie.

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