Smoke up — responsibly.
Gov. Cuomo last Wednesday announced a proposal to legalize and create a comprehensive system to oversee and regulate cannabis in New York as part of the 2021 State of the State.
An 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.
Cuomo also touted “an equitable structure for the adult-use market” by offering licensing opportunities and assistance to entrepreneurs in communities of color.
“Not only will legalizing and regulating the adult-use cannabis market provide the opportunity to generate much-needed revenue, but it allows us to directly support the individuals and communities that have been most harmed by decades of cannabis prohibition,” he said.
The proposal would limit the sale of cannabis products to people ages 21 and over and establishing regulation of packaging, labeling, advertising and testing of all cannabis products.
The legalization is expected to generate more than $300 million in tax revenue, according to the governor.
It’s the third year Cuomo has announced a proposal to legalize the drug though it never made it through the Legislature.
In 2019, he signed legislation to decriminalize the penalties for unlawful possession of marijuana.
Melissa Moore, New York State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said the state has the opportunity to lead the country on cannabis legislation with a progressive legalization program.
“2021 is the right time for marijuana justice in New York,” she said in a statement, adding it “can be an economic engine driving wealth and equity in marginalized communities and providing space for alternative economic systems.”