The legalisation deal was agreed by lawmakers from Albany and Governor Andrew Cuomo, and it’s opened the door for the state to have an industry that’s potentially worth many billions.
This legislation will allow residents aged 21 and over to buy up to three ounces of marijuana and grow up to six plants for their own personal use.
There were several failed attempts to legalise the drug for recreational use before this new legislation was approved. It’s believed that around 60% of voters in the state of New York approve of the legalisation.
It’s hoped that discrimination of the drug will lower the crime rate in addition to generate millions of dollars in tax revenue. The tax generated from marijuana is planned to be reinvested into marginalised communities.
Licences needed to sell the drug are also going to be given priority to applications made by business owners from minority ethnic groups to help boost the economy within specific areas.
Once fully up and running, the state governor’s office has estimated that legalising marijuana could generate annual revenue of around $350 million.
Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes is a Democrat that has backed the legalisation effort for numerous years, and she said: “A percentage of revenue that is raised will get invested into the communities where the people who suffered mass incarceration come from and still live in many cases. For me this is a lot more than about raising revenue: It’s about investing in the lives of the people that have been damaged.”
Some details of the legislation are still being finalised, but it’s possible the legalisation could be passed as part of the state budget that’s scheduled for April 1.
There is still the possibility that the legislation could fall at the final hurdle, but assuming it’s approved, then it’s expected to take 12 months before legal sales of marijuana can begin.
H/T: New York Times