New York Legalizes Marijuana after State officials reached a deal just hours after Gov. Andrew Cuomo called it “essential” to the state’s social and economic well-being.
The reform measures will be included in the laws adopted as part of the state budget on April 1, the sources said
The deal would allow New Yorkers to legally buy and possess up to three ounces of pot and even grow plants for their personal use, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Plans call for a 9 percent state tax on retail sales that could generate $300 million a year in new revenues, the Journal said.
Cities, towns, and villages could tack on another 4 percent sales tax or opt-out of allowing local sales and deliveries, according to the report.
The deal reportedly includes the creation of a new state regulatory agency, the Office of Cannabis Management, to license growers, retail sales, delivery, and on-premises consumption and it was unclear when they might actually begin.
Still-unresolved issues include how the tax money would be distributed and oversight of the agency, which Cuomo wanted under his control, the Journal said.
Under the proposed legislation, the office would answer to a five-member board with three gubernatorial appointees and one each selected by the state Senate and Assembly, respectively, state Sen. Liz Kreuger and other people familiar with the plan told the Journal.
New York Legalizes Marijuana
During a news conference earlier Thursday, Cuomo said he was making marijuana legalization a top priority in budget negotiations with lawmakers.
“This year we have to get it done, and getting it done by the time the budget is passed is essential,” he said.
“Cannabis is not just social equity, it’s also revenue for the state.”