NY lawmakers reach agreement to legalize recreational marijuana

Lawmakers in New York State reached a deal Wednesday to legalize recreational marijuana, according to CNN.

“The Cannabis Law” legislation is expecting to pass next week and would allow New Yorkers, 21 and over, to grow marijuana plants in their homes.

The proposed state and local tax for marijuana retail sales would be 13% and could generate as much as $350 million in taxes during its first year, per Gothamist.

According to a memo, the law will create a new Office of Cannabis Management that will oversee licensing for growers, dispensaries, wholesalers and retail “consumption sites.” A Cannabis Control Board would control the office.

Marijuana legalization in New York has stalled in recent years over state legislatures and Gov. Andrew Cuomo not working out an agreement. Cuomo had previously wanted the bill to be passed as part of budget negotiations, where he would have outsized influence.

According to reports, state legislatures have reportedly seized on an opportunity since a politically vulnerable Cuomo has been plagued by scandal in recent months over his handling of data on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes and multiple accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct.

If passed, 40% of profits will go toward social programs, 40% toward the state lottery education fund, and 20% for education and drug treatment, according to Gothamist.

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