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One big issue could hold back New York’s multibillion-dollar adult-use marijuana industry as it rolls out over the next 18 months: a lack of supply. Ruben Lindo, an entrepreneur and investor: “I would love to see interstate commerce of cannabis between these five contiguous states: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Connecticut.”
The sun is just starting to sink over the aggressively manicured grounds of Fortune Valley Manor in Saugerties. Outside an elegant mortise-and-tenon barn set in a bowl at the bottom of a steep, winding drive, couples are checking in, posing briefly for photographs on a patch of red carpet in front of a banner bearing the names of corporate sponsors. The smell of meat—Wagyu beef actually—charring on an unseen grill carries across the grounds on a light almost-summer breeze. It is an Event.
Out here on the East Coast, we have a special tradition of firebrand speeches given in barns, churches and gathering halls dating back to the earliest days of colonialism. Think Patrick Henry when he announced, “Give me liberty or give me death.” The smell of wood timber. The subtle stifle of a hot summer day not cooled by the setting of the sun. This is the venue for Steve DeAngelo’s Juneteenth oration, set on an estate in the sleepy Hudson Valley town of Saugerties. But instead of revolutionary war slogans, veteran cannabis pioneer DeAngelo paraphrases Louis Armstrong’s weed dealer (Mighty Mezz): “ Jazz was the sound that the Blues made when slavery ended and freedom happened.”