The system in New York State for the sale of alcohol includes more than 2,000 liquor stores. Some of the owners joined together to suggest an alternative for cannabis sales to state officials recently.
The group calls themselves The Last Store on Main Street. Their premise is that the stores already operate under a highly regulated and organized system. The stores are a viable option to allow sales of marijuana in a controlled environment and under a similar system to the one that is so effective for alcohol in the state.
The group has printed information on its website regarding job loss and the decline of alcohol sales in states where recreational marijuana use has already been legalized. The move to have liquor stores in NY sell marijuana would help alleviate similar effects on the state if legalization occurs.
Supporters of this idea are encouraged to send letters to state legislators regarding their support of a proposal that, to the store owners at least, is a win-win scenario.
The suggestion of a solution to this potential scenario comes as a result of a joint study, completed by researchers from the University of Connecticut and Georgia State University, who found a direct correlation between reduced use of alcohol and the legalization of recreational marijuana use. The decline in alcohol use has been noted across the United States between 2006 and 2015.
So far, no legislators have come forward to voice support for the suggestion put forth by the liquor store owners’ group. However, the debate is currently focused on the legalization move. Legislators organized a series of listening sessions, which were held in September and October in various locations across the state. Residents were encouraged to attend and share personal anecdotes on support for the measure or concerns regarding the potential change in state law.
Current Governor Andrew Cuomo is among the legislators in power who have changed their position in support of marijuana legalization, a clear reflection of the state residents’ perspective on the situation. His reasoning for the change is that legalization will allow regulation and provide the state with revenue from the market, two things that are not possible when recreational marijuana use is illegal. Cuomo is also up for re-election in November.