Marijuana Could Soon Be Legal in New York State
Will marijuana soon be legal in New York state? It's been talked about before but the Governor is proposing the legalization of cannabis for 2021.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is looking to legalize marijuana as part of the 2021 State of the State. Under the Governor's proposal, a new Office of Cannabis Management would be created to oversee the new adult-use program, as well as the State's existing medical and cannabinoid hemp programs. Once fully implemented, legalization is expected to generate more than $300 million in tax revenue.
"Despite the many challenges New York has faced amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also created a number of opportunities to correct longstanding wrongs and build New York back better than ever before," Governor Cuomo said. "Not only will legalizing and regulating the adult-use cannabis market provide the opportunity to generate much-needed revenue, but it also allows us to directly support the individuals and communities that have been most harmed by decades of cannabis prohibition."
In 2018, the New York Department of Health conducted a multi-agency study which discovered the positive impacts of legalizing marijuana outweighed the negatives. It also found decades of prohibition have led to unjust arrests and convictions particularly in communities of color.
In 2019, Governor Cuomo signed legislation to decriminalize the penalties for unlawful possession of marijuana. Later that year, the Governor spearheaded a multi-state summit to discuss paths towards legalization of adult-use cannabis.
The latest proposal reflects national standards and emerging best practices to promote responsible use of marijuana, limiting the sale to adults 21 and over and establishing stringent quality and safety controls including strict regulation of the packaging, labeling, advertising, and testing.