New York state lawmakers have agreed to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes at late night meetings. The move has allowed the state to join at least 14 other states, which have allowed residents to buy marijuana for recreational purposes, not just for medical purposes. New York's past efforts to legalize cannabis have failed in recent years.
"My goal in implementing this legislation has always been to end the marijuana ban on racial discrimination, which has caused such a heavy loss to people of color throughout the state and to use the economic benefits of legalization to help heal and repair these communities, said Liz Krueger, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the sponsor of the Senate bill.
Democrats who currently have veto power in State Councils will pass the bill as a priority this year, AP reported. The government of Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic governor, estimates that legalization will eventually result in revenue of about $350million a year. Press. Cuomo noted that the northeast, including Massachusetts, Maine and the nearest New Jersey, is increasingly accepting legalization.
The legislation will allow the sale of recreational cannabis to adults over the age of 21 and establish licensing procedures for the delivery of cannabis products to consumers. New York individuals can grow up to three mature and three immature factories for personal consumption, while local governments can opt out of retail. The associated press said the bill also set aside revenue to cover all costs, from monitoring cannabis to preventing drug abuse.
The associated press said the legislation, if adopted, would come into force immediately, although sales would not begin until New York had rules and proposed the establishment of a cannabis Commission. Crystal people Stokes, the majority leader of the general assembly, estimated Friday that it could take 18 months to two years to start sales.
New York State will impose a 9 per cent sales tax on cannabis and an additional 4 per cent tax between the county and local governments. It will also impose additional taxes on the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active ingredient in cannabis, ranging from 0.5 cents per milligram of the flower to 3 cents per milligram consumed.
New York will cancel penalties for possession of less than three ounces of cannabis and automatically delete records of people convicted of cannabis related crimes, AP said, and that those records will no longer be convicted. This is a step beyond the 2019 law, which removes many convictions of cannabis in the past and reduces penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis.
The Act allows cities, towns and villages to pass local laws on 31 December 2021 or within 9 months of the date of entry into force of the statute, to withdraw from the option of retail cannabis pharmacies or on-site consumption permits that are allowed for adult use. They cannot choose to exit legalization.