New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reintroduced a measure to legalize recreational cannabis in the state in an announcement on Twitter. Governor Cuomo’s latest proposal would fall under the state’s upcoming budget package, giving his office more control over regulation.
“I’m announcing a proposal to legalize cannabis and create an equitable adult-use cannabis program in NYS,” Cuomo tweeted on January 6. “This program will generate much-needed revenue, while allowing us to support those that have been most harmed by decades of failed cannabis prohibition.”
The legislation would create a new Office of Cannabis Management, making it in charge of the current medical cannabis program as well as a new regulation allowing all adults over 21 to legally purchase cannabis for recreational use.
“I think this should have been passed years ago,” Governor Cuomo said during a video briefing, as reported in The New York Times. “This is a year where we do need the funding and a lot of New Yorkers are struggling. This year will give us the momentum to get it over the goal line.”
The state estimates it can collect an estimated $300 million dollars in tax revenues from pot sales which would be allowed at state licensed dispensaries. This would be much needed revenue for New York, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic’s ravaging of the economy at a national level.
New York does have a medical cannabis program, but this would allow the state to join New Jersey, North Dakota, Montana and Arizona in legalizing cannabis for recreational use for adults. This will be Governor Cuomo’s third attempt at a recreational cannabis bill, and due to the financial losses from pandemic, it is expected to pass at some point in 2021.
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