Start spreading the news. The people of New York appear to really love cannabis. And not just throughout the state where many northern towns are home to universities.

The city of New York has a long history of activism and cultural celebration surrounding cannabis. Much of the city's jazz music in the 1920s and 30s was developed and played in cannabis-selling speakeasies called "tea pads". The Beat movement of the 1950s pushed back against the criminalisation of cannabis users.

These days, so much cannabis is consumed in the city, there has been a proliferation of delivery services that bring weed to you. There have been loving tributes to this on shows like Comedy Central's Broad City and HBO's High Maintenance, which follows a weed-delivery service. New York may even move to legalize it soon as there is indeed quite a lot of cannabis being consumed there.

CONSUMING HUGE AMOUNTS OF WEED

It's hard to over-stress how popular weed is in New York City. A recent study by Seedo has revealed something very interesting about the five boroughs. Seedo studied the cannabis market of 120 populous cities around the globe. They compared annual consumption rates in metric tons, as well as market price and the potential for tax revenue under legalization. New York City was found to consume a staggering 77.44 tons of green per year!

What's astonishing about this is how far ahead it is of the runner-up. In second place is Karachi, Pakistan, who consume 41.95 tons per year. They are followed closely by New Delhi, India, who consume 38.26 tons per year. In fourth place is another American metropolis, with Los Angeles consuming 36.06 tons per year. New York City consumes more than twice as much weed as the next American city. It is so far ahead of the pack internationally, it is bizarre New York hasn't legalized cannabis. If they did, Seedo estimates that by taxing it at the same rate as cigarettes, New York City could generate $156.4 million worth of annual revenue. Is this likely to happen soon?

THEY ARE SURROUNDED

The state of New York is surrounded by other states close to legalizing cannabis. Just across the river from Manhattan, the state of New Jersey could soon be a place to legally purchase weed. Democrat Governor Phil Murphy will soon take over from staunchly anti-pot Republican Chris Christie. Having vocally supported cannabis legalization, Murphy is likely to sign the New Jersey Senate's cannabis legalization bill into law. This could happen in 2018, although establishing a legal retail market is likely to take a year or two. The legislative route could be more common in the United States going forward.

Over half of US states have legalized cannabis in some form, for medical or recreational purposes. Eight states and the District of Columbia had ballot initiatives where the public approved recreational cannabis. Maine and Massachusetts are two of these states. Now Vermont, just north of New York, has passed legislation legalizing recreational cannabis. Vermont is the first state to do so through an act of state legislature, with New Hampshire likely to follow soon. It may soon be necessary for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to reconsider his opposition to recreational cannabis.

New York Legalisation Cannabis

CURRENT LAWS IN NEW YORK

Governor Cuomo announced that he will establish a panel to advise him on cannabis legalization. In the meantime, there are some things you should know if you're planning to visit New York City. It is not currently legal for recreational use, but it is for medical use. Since 2016, there have been dispensaries open to New York residents with a medical prescription.

Unlike dispensaries in other states, these are explicitly forbidden from selling edibles or even cannabis flower. They only sell tinctures and oils for vaping, or cannabinoid-based medicines in tablet form. So right now, there is a very restrictive regime in the Big Apple. While there is clearly an abundant supply of cannabis, it is illegal. Don't take stupid risks about where you consume it. Hopefully soon enough, common sense will prevail in New York.

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