New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday, January 6, 2021, that he is renewing his efforts towards calling for the legalization and regulation of marijuana in the state for adult-use. According to NBC New York, this is Cuomo’s third attempt to get the cannabis plant legalized in the state.
With the first two attempts in 2019 and 2020 failing to push through due to disputes in on how to properly and proportionately distribute the tax revenue from cannabis sales and licenses, the New York Times reports that Cuomo has since been attempting to revive the economy and destigmatize the use of the drug in the state.
The NY governor stated his intentions via social networking platform Twitter last Wednesday, saying “I’m announcing a proposal to legalize cannabis and create an equitable adult-use cannabis program in NYS.”
“This program will generate much-needed revenue, while allowing us to support those that have been most harmed by decades of failed cannabis prohibition,” said Cuomo.
The Democrat governor is planning to announce the said proposal for legalizing recreational adult-use marijuana on Wednesday, January 13, 2020, in the upcoming State of the State agenda for the year 2021.
Under the said proposal, Governor Cuomo calls for the establishment of a new agency that would handle the recreational and medical use of the drug. This would reportedly be placed under a new Office of Cannabis Management, said that Rolling Stone.
Apart from this, the proposal also calls for providing businesses and communities affected by the prohibition with avenues for licensing as they venture into the recreational marijuana market, notes NBC New York.
Should the program be implemented within this year, individuals age 21 and over would be allowed to purchase marijuana products at licensed dispensaries operating within the state. This market is slated to bring approximately $300 million in tax revenue alone, states the Rolling Stone.
In keeping up with the standards and best practices in the industry, Cuomo states that they will still be “establishing stringent quality and safety controls including strict regulation of the packaging, labeling, advertising, and testing of all cannabis products.”
In a video briefing, the New York Times said that Cuomo remarked, “I think this should have been passed years ago. This is a year where we do need the funding and a lot of New Yorkers are struggling. This year will give us the momentum to get it over the goal line.”
The potential legalization of the drug this 2021 is part of Governor Cuomo and the state’s efforts to revive the economy amid the continuing battles of the citizens against the effects of the virus pandemic on businesses and the rest of the economic landscape.
Apart from legalizing recreational cannabis use, the governor of New York also plans to allow sports betting in the state. While the New York Times revealed that the state already legalized sports betting in 2019, it has only done so in state-licensed casinos. With Cuomo’s plan for NYS, sports betting would now be made more accessible to smartphone users with a mobile-ready approach.