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New York Lawmakers To Legalize Recreational Marijuana For Adults Over 21

New York Lawmakers To Legalize Recreational Marijuana For Adults Over 21

Earlier this year, new Jersey loosened their restrictions on weed.

A new proposal by New York lawmakers will make recreational marijuana legal for residents over the age of 21. According to Bloomberg, the state will bring special pot taxes and will also provide licenses to dispensaries for the supply. 

“It is my understanding that the three-way agreement has been reached and that bill drafting is in the process of finishing a bill that we all have said we support,” said state Senate Finance Committee Chair Liz Krueger. 

 



 

 

Under "The Cannabis Law" legislation,  New Yorkers will also be allowed to grow their own plant at home.  As per an internal legislative memo, a new Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) controlled by a Cannabis Control Board would be created to regulate the supply and distribution. 

The board officials would be responsible for issuing licenses for the different steps in the supply chain such as farming, processing, distribution, dispensaries, and retail "consumption" sites, according to CNN. Additionally, some officials of OCM will also be tasked to provide 50 percent of the licenses to those who have been impacted by the restrictions of cannabis. 

 



 

 

The authorities believe that the new legislation, after its full implementation, would add an additional revenue of $350 million a year. Krueger informed that the sales would be initiated a year after the enactment of the law. 

A percentage of the additional revenue produced would go to the State Lottery Fund for Education and the Drug Treatment and Public Education Fund. According to the memo, another portion of the revenue will go to the Community Grants Reinvestment Fund. This fund provides "grants for qualified community-based organizations and approved local government entities to reinvest in communities disproportionately affected by past federal and state drug policies." 

The memo also stated that municipalities could opt out of the program if the residents were not in favor of it.  The state's permissive referendum process allows the residents to override the local laws at the ballot box. 

 



 

 

Meanwhile, New York's move comes after several states across the country loosened restrictions on marijuana and voted to legalize the substance. Earlier this year, New Jersey, too, joined the club. "We are literally surrounded geographically by other states that are doing it. We just need to stay ahead of the times. Because we’re New Yorkers, we can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can speed this up," said Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, referring to the reform. 

References: 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-24/deal-reached-to-fast-track-legalizing-marijuana-in-new-york
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/25/us/new-york-recreational-marijuana-deal-trnd/index.html

Cover Image | Representational Image | Source: Getty Images (Photo by Peter Dazeley) 

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