In an interview with WAMC north public radio on Thursday, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said the legalization of recreational marijuana is very likely, and may even be achieved soon.
"I think that this year [recreational legalization] is ripe because the state is going to be in desperate need of revenue."
He added, "I think the pressure is going to be on because we are going to need the money so badly, and you have such a [budget] gap now, I think it's going to be an easier conversation."
Cuomo said he had been advocating for years to fully legalize marijuana in his state. In fact, he was talking nonsense. In April, for example, he said legalization of marijuana was "unlikely" by the end of 2020. However, since then, the coronavirus pandemic has not abated, seriously affecting the global economy, especially the New York economy
Cuomo also faces additional pressure from New Jersey to legalize recreational marijuana. New Jersey is New York's neighbor, and its eternal competitor. On election day, voters in garden state passed the measure by a two-thirds majority. Two other neighboring states, Vermont and Massachusetts, have been fully legal for some time.
New York currently allows only the consumption and sale of medical marijuana. Chicago-based Cresco Labs (OTC:CRLBF) is already operating medical cannabis dispensaries in New York. Sunnyside, a retail brand operated by Cresco, has four stores there -- two upstate, one in Brooklyn, and one on Long Island.
Cresco's stock had a good day Friday, rising by 3% against the stagnant S&P 500 index.