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New York 2027: City Transformed by Cannabis and Autonomous Cars

Daniel Kim Views  

The New York Post predicted the future of downtown New York five years from now, following significant legal revisions, such as the legalization of marijuana and the commercialization of autonomous vehicles. 5. Let’s explore the new face of New York, from marijuana shops to restaurants.

Marijuana Shops

In 2021, the New York State legislature passed a bill legalizing marijuana to increase tax revenue and create jobs. As a result, adults over 21 can possess up to approximately 85 grams (3 ounces) of marijuana, and cultivation of marijuana is allowed under certain conditions. Although the possession and use of marijuana have been legalized, the industry is currently in its early stages.

The New York Post predicts that the marijuana market will reach $4.2 billion by 2027. With the emergence of marijuana specialty stores and other new business models, it is estimated that 76,000 new jobs will be created. Chris Alexander, the executive of the New York State Office of Cannabis Management, said, “Due to the limitations on corporate ownership of marijuana stores, residents will mainly run them,” and added, “You will be able to encounter unique marijuana stores in each region, similar to local bars.”

Chinatown

With the spread of COVID-19 and xenophobia (foreigner hatred), Asians were exposed to crime. Remarkably, 75% of Asian seniors living in Chinatown have fears of hate crimes, and this has led to a phenomenon of reluctance to go out. Chinatown has become a place to avoid due to fear and anti-China sentiment in the U.S.

New York State has announced an investment of $20 million to improve the environment in Chinatown. Accordingly, various urban infrastructure development projects, such as creating green spaces, streetlights, and public restrooms, are expected to improve the cityscape by 2027. Especially with the completion of the Chinatown community center, it is predicted that a safe and clean city where citizens can live with peace of mind will be established.

Restaurants

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift to remote work, causing many downtown New York restaurants to shut down. By 2020, approximately 1,300 restaurants had gone bankrupt, and 160,000 jobs were lost, signaling the potential end of an era for New York as a culinary capital. Although employment in the city’s restaurant industry has started to recover, about 53,000 positions have not yet returned. Andrew Rigie, president of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, forecasts that this trend will continue as decreased commuting reduces demand for downtown dining. Over the next five years, he predicts that residential suburbs, rather than central business districts like Manhattan, will grow in dining areas, particularly for breakfast and brunch markets.

Transportation

New York introduced unmanned shuttle services starting in the second quarter of 2019. Still, the city’s mayor at the time, Bill de Blasio, was skeptical of autonomous vehicles, leading to stringent regulations. According to a recent report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on “Driver Protection with Automated Driving Systems,” the U.S. is pushing to allow more autonomous vehicles. The New York Post anticipates that by 2027, autonomous vehicles will become a mainstream mode of transportation. They are expected to be particularly beneficial in areas with poor public safety, creating safer urban environments. Additionally, deploying autonomous vehicles on less busy routes could achieve high cost-effectiveness.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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