County Chamber Urges Local Officials to Allow Retail Cannabis Sales
The Delaware County Chamber of Commerce urges towns and villages to not “opt-out” of the opportunity to allow cannabis-related businesses and capture much-needed tax revenue. The Chamber seeks opportunities to sustain and grow our economy. Beyond retail opportunities, cannabis sales will allow our distressed farmers to tap into this multi-billion dollar industry, through cultivation as well as sales.
The Chamber supports legal cannabis sales for the following reasons:
- The Chamber supports all legal businesses
- Total market demand for legal adult-use cannabis in New York is about $3.7 billion in the current fiscal year [Marijuana Legalization in New York State--A Fresh Look by James Parrott and Michele Mattingly], with demand rising to $3.9 billion by FY 2027.
However, because legal sales would grow over time and gain market share at the expense of illicit sales, legal market sales would rise from $566 million in the first full fiscal year of implementation (FY 2023) to $2.6 billion four years later (FY 2027). Using these estimates, State excise tax revenue would be $159 million in FY 2023, rising to $765 million in FY 2027. Local share of the excise tax would generate $25 million, statewide, in FY 2023, rising to $114 million in FY 2027.
The Parrott/Mattingly report used a model to reflect 100% in-state cultivation and processing of all cannabis to estimate that the $2.6 billion in retail sales projected for FY 2027 would generate 50,860 jobs, $2.2 billion in employee compensation, $4.7 billion in value added, and $6.1 billion in total economic output. In addition to the sales-related tax revenues projected above, the expansion of an entire economic sector in New York State will generate additional state and local tax revenue.
Delaware County farmers, retail owners, residents, and visitors will lose if surrounding towns and counties allow cannabis businesses. Tourists will flock to cannabis-friendly communities and residents will simply buy products elsewhere, depriving Delaware County of those tax revenues.
The public policy question of whether cannabis should be legal is not relevant to the issue of allowing adult-use retail sales and cultivation facilities to operate in Delaware County communities. Adult-use cannabis legislation was passed by the NYS Legislature and signed by the Governor in March 2021.
Disagreement with the law should be taken up with our state representatives and regulators, and not town supervisors and mayors. Instead, the Chamber urges local officials to support legal businesses and allow retail cannabis sales.