Although the cannabis community has been quiet since the election of the new New York governor Andrew Cuomo, they should expect a continuation of the state’s long-standing medical cannabis program. That program is set to become fully developed under the guidance of Cuomo, who has a history of supporting both medical and recreational marijuana. While some have warned that Cuomo may be different in this regard, Cuomo’s track record indicates that he is likely to support the state program.
Why would a national state leader with a record of supporting cannabis law reform get into a race to become a local New York governor? Although the answer to that question may not be obvious, the effect of the race on cannabis policy will be, as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to make history by being the first sitting governor to launch a campaign for New York’s next governor.
The state of New York is preparing to roll out its recreational marijuana program by late 2017, allowing adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to one ounce of weed. In early November, the New York State Department of Health announced it has selected an experienced team to administer the program, which will include three departments: the Alcohol & Marijuana Regulation and Safety Department, the Office of Cannabis Management, and the Department of Health.. Read more about new york legalization 2020 and let us know what you think.
We think Kathy Hochul sees cannabis as a popular initial (or near-term) topic to promote at the start of her tenure, allowing her to achieve an early victory.
Viridian Capital Advisors is a financial advisory firm based in New York City.
Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, has declared his intention to resign on August 24. Kathy Hochul, the Lt. Governor of New York, will succeed Mr. Cuomo. We think that this shift will bring the recreational cannabis rollout in New York back on schedule, and that it may even speed up the first sales timeline from the original summer 2H/22 projections. Many industry players were starting to think a 2023 launch was most probable prior to Governor Cuomo’s announcement.
Despite the fact that legislation was passed in March, Mr. Cuomo has always been a hesitant backer of cannabis law, and the timetable of a rollout has been unclear in recent months as he and other state officials politicized the subject in order to have other issues addressed. The Governor and Senate leaders have been squabbling lately over who would head the Office of Cannabis Management and the Cannabis Control Board. Both parties are allegedly trying to gain favor for other problems involving appointments. Meanwhile, the two state agencies are critical in establishing laws and providing adequate transparency to operators in order to finance the expansion of assets and future capacity.
Ms. Hochul, for her part, has not been a strong proponent of cannabis legislation in the past, but she seems to be a realist, as she supported the bill last winter, citing the state’s financial deficit and social equality issues as reason. Ms. Hochul is anticipated to cooperate more than Governor Cuomo, and we think the next Governor will see cannabis as a popular beginning (or near-term) topic to promote at the start of her tenure, giving her an early victory.
In terms of operators, we think that any law that moves quickly would be beneficial, especially for the 10 businesses that already have medical licenses. As previously stated, New York’s legislation provides substantial and long-term competitive advantages to the ten current medical license holders, including vertical integration and the ability to open new dispensaries beyond the state quota. Given that New York is expected to quickly become one of the largest cannabis markets in the United States (we estimate $2 billion by 2025) and that existing operators benefit from early mover advantages in almost all new markets, we expect each of the 10 license holders to outperform revenues and profits in the near term if they buildout assets.
Meanwhile, if any of the licenses are put up for sale, we anticipate them to be among the most valuable assets in the cannabis industry, fetching a premium takeout price far beyond the existing operators’ value. We anticipate that any additional licenses granted, especially those allowing access to New York City or large-scale cultivation/production, would be heavily sought after, and that all MSOs will want to join the market as soon as possible.
Highlights of the Investment:
• New York’s cannabis law passed in March, but movement has slowed since then.
• The state is projected to soon become one of the biggest marketplaces in the United States. Existing operators have substantial competitive advantages under the legislation.
• There are ten current operators. Acreage, Columbia Care, Cresco, Curaleaf, iAnthus, Goodness Growth, Green Thumb, Medmen/Ascend are some of the public companies.
• Expect outperforming outcomes and premium values as a consequence of the benefits.
• Continue to think that fresh licenses will be sought for, despite the fact that they are becoming less valuable.
With the next governor of New York set to be named tomorrow, it is likely that cannabis will be legalized soon after. Cuomo’s record on cannabis is mixed. He has previously said he supports medical marijuana, even before he was elected. He has also said he plans to legalize adult use cannabis in his first 100 days in office. While this might sound like a given, it’s not. Other governors have felt as confident, only to be stymied by New York’s fierce prohibition lobby.. Read more about ny legalization news and let us know what you think.
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