Legal weed sales will help small businesses


Yash Lucid | Pexels

Christopher Santos

The legalization of marijuana in New York City has long been overdue. As one of America’s largest consumers of the substance, not legalizing marijuana is both an ignorant move socially, logically and financially.

Not only will it provide a huge form of tax revenue for the city, but it will also provide regulated and safe distribution for users. Let us not forget that it will also weaken the strength of the black market substantially, which is the sole provider for the immense demand for marijuana in New York City.

This black market, specifically with the distribution of marijuana, can be a dependable and highly demanded products within gang revenue sources. By decreasing its power, we are helping diminish its presence, influence and the crime itself. Furthermore, a large amount of marijuana is distributed through international drug trafficking. By weakening these black markets, we are weakening the gangs within our own country, as well as internationally, and hopefully reigning in some of the rampant violence we see from these parties.

So legalizing the devil’s lettuce might be obvious, but that’s only part of the problem. If it’s legalized, what are the terms? Can we grow it in our backyard, communal gardens, or open up home-based dispensaries? While the freedom to grow would make sense for a non-deadly, natural plant, that scenario will most likely never occur in the near future. It would not allow the greedy lawmakers of New York City to create double-digit taxes per sale, and from an economic standpoint, flood the market with unregulated marijuana.

This fear of a supply-side flood would have disastrous implications for marijuana prices, therefore decreasing the incentive for legitimate businesses to create long-term investments. One would just have to look at Oregon, where the legalization of marijuana caused a supply-side flood that led to a 50 percent drop in price per gram for the substance, as reported by CBC News.

But what about small businesses? New York, with our ever-increasing rental prices and gentrification, small businesses are under attack. Yet one form of small businesses remains strong and numerous — the local bodega. These small businesses are rallying to sell marijuana if it is legalized within the state.

Allowing local bodegas to sell legalized weed with strict regulation would be the perfect revenue item for these small businesses. It would supplement the business model perfectly, with its close locality, 24-hour convenience and delicious food selections.

This would provide a one stop shop for the customer and give small businesses the boost they need in a climate where small businesses are simply becoming too small.