Thursday, 17 June, 2021


NY legalizes adult-use marijuana sales

New York state passes bill legalizing recreational marijuana NY lawmakers pass marijuana legalization, sending bill to governor
Hannah Rogers | 03 April, 2021, 17:36

The bill reached Cuomo's desk Tuesday night after State Assembly voted 100-49 to pass the marijuana legalization bill. He has said he will sign it.

NY will start automatically expunging some past marijuana-related convictions, and people won't be arrested or prosecuted for possession of pot up to 3 ounces.

Adults will be permitted to grow up to six marijuana plants per person in a residential household, however, half of the plants must remain immature.

"We are ending a 90-year prohibition", said Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes. "That's what's good about this legislation".

Officials say the law will create 60,000 jobs and is estimated to produce over $350 million in tax revenue.

"I'm driving this because I want people to be free from incarceration for a drug that people in their communities use every day", Stokes said.

New Mexico's Legislature has approved the legalization of recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older in a bill that the governor plans to sign, extending the legal cannabis market in the American Southwest by April 2022.

NY is the 16th state to legalize marijuana, joining neighboring MA and New Jersey.

New York City health officials are also praising the move.

The House passed a bill to legalize pot a year ago, and a group of Democratic Senators are now drafting a bill that would do the same, but the Biden administration is still opposed to the idea of ending federal prohibition and established a nationwide, regulated market. The tax revenues will be broken up with 9% going to the state and 4% going to localities, according to the legislation.

An additional tax of five center per milligram for flower, eight center per milligram of concentrate, and three cents per milligram for edibles will be imposed depending on the level of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient in marijuana.

Adults of that age can have up to three ounces of marijuana in their possession.

"If you ever had a conviction for a marijuana offense and that behavior is now legal, that record is automatically expunged", Northup says. The first part of the bill goes into effect immediately: you can now legally posses up to 3 ounces of weed in NY, and smoke it in public in places where smoking tobacco is allowed. And police could no longer use the odor of cannabis as a reason for searching someone's vehicle for contraband.

Ben Kovler, chief executive officer of Green Thumb Industries Inc, the second largest USA pot producer by market value, said his company will allocate "significant dollars" to the NY market - set to be the second largest legal market after California.

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act legalizes the use of recreational marijuana for New Yorkers over the age of 21. Voters moved to legalize recreational and medical use of marijuana in South Dakota in November, though it is now being challenged in the state's Supreme Court. "Virginia will become the 15th state to legalize marijuana - and these changes will ensure we do it with a focus on public safety, public health, and social justice".

While the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns cut into tax dollars that states earned from sectors like hotels and airlines, the idea of legal cannabis sales offered some hope to plug up battered fiscal budgets across the country.

NY will set a 9% sales tax on cannabis plus an additional 4% county and local tax and another tax based on the level of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Other states, including Vermont, have required municipalities to opt-in to allow retail operations.

NY officials plan to conduct a study that will examine the extent that cannabis impairs driving, and whether it depends on factors like time and metabolism.

The state will also launch a study due by December 31, 2022, that examines the extent that cannabis impairs driving, and whether it depends on factors like time and metabolism.

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