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Gov. Cuomo Rolls Out Adult-use Cannabis Program

Governor Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y. vows to legalize recreational cannabis for adults.

New York State seems to be on a smooth road to legalizing recreational marijuana use for adults.

Cuomo rolled out a new proposal at the start of the year which intends on legalizing and establishing an office that would oversee and regulate cannabis. The new branch would be in charge of the state’s adult-use program alongside the state’s already established cannabinoid hemp programs.

“We will legalize adult-use recreational cannabis, joining 15 states that have already done so,” he tweeted on Monday. The move, Cuomo said, will “raise revenue and end the failed prohibition of this product that has left so many communities of color over-policed and over-incarcerated.”

“Additionally, an equitable structure for the adult-use market will be created by offering licensing opportunities and assistance to entrepreneurs in communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs,” according to the governor’s office.

State expects at least $300 million in tax revenue

Currently, the state projects the legalization of marijuana would generate $300 million in tax revenue once legislation takes effect. Cuomo argues that marijuana legalization could help compensate for the economic losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. Medical marijuana is now legal and in 2019 Gov. Cuomo signed legislation to decriminalize the penalties for unlawful possession of marijuana.

“I’ve supported it for years. I’ve tried to pass it, but this is a year where we do need the funding, and a lot of New Yorkers are struggling. So I think this year will give us the momentum to get it over the goal line.”

“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,” he said in a statement last week.



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