You are here
Home > News > New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Former Cop, Says ‘Light Up’

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Former Cop, Says ‘Light Up’

At an appearance at the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition (CWCBExpo) held June 1 – 3 in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams spoke on Friday and told millions of New Yorkers to “light up.” He told attendees to support even unlicensed businesses during the gray area time period until New York’s market matures.

Mayor Adams was named as keynote speaker of the New York CWCBExpo. This announcement came last month. Chris Beals, of Weedmaps, and Nick Kovacevich from Greelane Holdings were other headline speakers. Tremaine Wright (chair of the NYS Cannabis Control Board) also shared an update on the rules.

Conference attendees wanted to find out what the future market looks like so the Mayor didn’t waste any time. “Enjoy yourself, light up, but most importantly—spend some money,” the Mayor said.

According to Governor Kathy Hochul’s fiscal 2023 spending plan, the state is expected to rake in $1.25 billion in cannabis revenue over the next six years.

While New York’s adult-use retail market hasn’t officially kicked off, locals say there are secret and not-so-secret clubs, trucks, and gifting shops open for business all over that have been popping up since the state approved adult-use in March 2021.

The mayor went on further, saying that he doesn’t plan on cracking down during the transition stage which appears to be in the gray area. “‘Listen, you can’t do this,’ give them a warning,” said Adams. Adams provided $5 million of funding through his executive budget in order to give New Yorkers the boost they need to apply to adult-use cultivation permits.

His comments also hint at simple cannabis crime being dealt with like a handshake, which gives hints as to how the particulars might work. “If they refuse to adhere to the rules, then you have to come back and take some form of enforcement actions, such as a summons, such as, you know, talking about their ability to sell alcohol.”

Adams was a police officer in New York before he became the 110th mayor of New York City. Adams’ extended bio states that Adams joined the NYPD due to an earlier instance of police brutality. Adams “was beaten by police in the basement of a precinct house at 15,” but instead of being defeated, he eventually joined the force himself to make changes and decrease the amount of racism in police forces.

Adams also acknowledged that there are weed trucks all over New York City. However, they are not licensed.

“We need to incentivize those who have their illegal trucks or have the trucks going on to show them that this is a better pathway,” he said. “The goal is to not leave people behind.”

The CWCBExpo also featured specialty show floor areas including the Women Grow Pavilion, University Row featuring leading academic cannabis curriculums and programs, and the “LGBTQ+ Proud Mary Lounge.”

The program also included many legislative updates. Mayor Adams had just spoken at the CWCBExpo when Senator Liz Krueger (New York Senate) passed a bill to crack down on illegal cannabis possession and sale. The bill required approval by the state Assembly prior to moving forward. The bill was stalled until next year after Friday’s vote.

New York’s regulators have approved the draft regulations which will govern marketing under New York Cannabis Control Board. New York’s market is ready to launch late this year or in early 2023, and New York’s mayor is certainly onboard.