CannaGather, described as "New York's largest cannabis industry community," hosts monthly meetings in New York City for 200 people (you can join as a member or buy tickets to single events through their website).
CannaGather now has over 4000 members and is one of the best resources for information about the cannabis industry.
As first reported by the New York Post, one of the keynote speakers at CannaGather last night was Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, who gave a positive speech about the future of marijuana in New York City.
"Our office, if the NYPD makes an arrest, will not prosecute a possession of marijuana for low-level possession or smoking a joint, unless you're observed selling marijuana, and the buyer runs away from the police and we can't find the buyer. I think we can perhaps, we can all agree, because you're in the business of marijuana, you should be licensed when you sell. Selling is simply different than possession and therefore that's something you can and should be prosecuted for."
Vance's appearance at CannaGather, something totally unfathomable of a District Attorney 5 years ago, reinforces the thought that legalization is on the way for New York. (his new stance on marijuana didn't hurt either)
This summer has been a busy one for the cannabis industry in New York. From the positive report by the Department of Health, to the panel given the go-ahead to draft legislation for the legal market, you can tell that it is now only a matter or time. How long will it take? The hardest part, i'm sure, will be deciding how much tax to apply and how many different ones they can sneak in.
According to Vance, his office researched all the legal markets in the country and spoke with various law enforcement officials about the experience and any negative outcomes.
After doing much research, it was determined that moving forward with legalization could work for New York, but it had to be treated and managed like a business, in order to grow and prosper.
"Some states have, from a business perspective, issued too many licenses. When you issue licenses in a state, you don't want to drive prices so low that you encourage black market sales. You have to carefully manage as business and a licensing perspective how you're going to manage the market."
Translation.......get your wallets out, because if you want one of the limited licenses being issued, its going to cost both your arms and legs.
At the end of the day, this is great progress for New York, and hopefully these laws will be written and passed, ending decades of needless arrests.