New Jersey is the “linchpin” for coming leisure marijuana legalization on the East Coast, a panel of business experts mentioned Tuesday on the second day of MJBizConNEXT Direct, Marijuana Business Daily‘s three-day digital cannabis enterprise convention.

Panelist Rob DiPisa, accomplice and co-chair of cannabis regulation group Cole Schotz, referred to as New Jersey a “hot market” that has repeatedly expanded its medical marijuana program and, subsequently, has the infrastructure in place for a profitable leisure program.

“It’s something of a linchpin. I think New Jersey ties the knot,” mentioned Jeremy Unruh, senior vp of public and regulatory affairs for Illinois-based cannabis agency PharmaCann. “It also places a tremendous amount of pressure on New York” to legalize.

Unruh identified that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo doesn’t need to see state income go to bordering New Jersey.

“The focus right now is certainly New York and New Jersey,” DiPisa added.

Unruh mentioned the chance of New York legalizing leisure marijuana within the close to future is “limited at best.”

He additionally mentioned it will likely be troublesome for New York’s lawmakers to take up social justice and inclusion questions through the coronavirus pandemic.

But strain from New Jersey and Pennsylvania in addition to New York’s substantial budgetary points might assist to drive the governor’s funds in 2021, Unruh added.

Bridget Hill-Zayat, counsel for Denver-based Hoban Law Group, mentioned Pennsylvania may see momentum towards adult-use legalization due to the state’s large funds shortfall amid the pandemic.

“People who weren’t considering adult-use previously may be taking another look,” she mentioned.

Unruh added that “gaming and cannabis are really the only two turnkey options to generate revenue for the state.”

Another state ripe for leisure legalization is Maryland, Hill-Zayat mentioned. It’s “an inevitability,” she added. “The money is too palatable right now.”

She famous that, in different markets, changing from medical marijuana to a leisure program is the “natural progression.”

Information about any of those digital occasions is available here.

– Bart Schaneman

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