Recreational Marijuana Legalizes in New York

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill to legalize marijuana in New York State on Wednesday (31th, March). State lawmakers passed the bill on Tuesday night, with the Senate passing it by a vote of 40 to 23 and the House of Representatives by a vote of 100 to 49.

New York is now the 16th state to legalize the sale of marijuana to adults and the third states to have lawmakers, rather than voters, approve legalization. With this, New York State is expected to become one of the largest marijuana markets in the United States.

The new bill states:

”Adults over the age of 21 can grow three marijuana plants at home, Each household can grow up to six plants.

New York residents over the age of 21 can possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana and 24 ounces of marijuana concentrate in their homes.”

In addition, the bill would eliminate convictions for possession of less than 3 ounces of marijuana and automatically expunge the criminal records of people convicted of marijuana possession.

For areas where marijuana has been legalized, such as New York City, Mayor Michael White has made it clear that he welcomes the law, which would impose a 13% tax on the retail sale of marijuana, with 9% going to state coffers and 3% to local government coffers. The state expects marijuana tax revenue to reach $350 million annually, with 40% going to education, 40% to some severely impacted communities, and 20% to drug treatment as well as public education funds.

The legislation, now signed into law, takes effect immediately, although marijuana sales will not begin until New York establishes regulations and a proposed marijuana commission. Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D-N.Y.) estimates it could take 18 months to two years for legal recreational sales to begin.


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