New York stands on the verge of becoming the latest state to legalize recreational use of cannabis for adults after lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced agreement on legislation over the weekend. The newly named New York State Cannabis/Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act combines elements of both the Governor’s proposal and the legislature’s prior bills and may be voted on as early as Tuesday as the state begins its new fiscal year.
The bill establishes a Cannabis Control Board and Office of Cannabis Management that will be responsible for regulating adult-use marijuana and creates a Chief Equity Officer position to be appointed by the Cannabis Control Board. It also allocates significant funding to social equity concerns, states a strong legislative intent to invest significant resources into communities most impacted by cannabis criminalization, allows for home growth, expands eligibility for medical marijuana patients and creates a variety of licenses for distributors, processors and retailers of recreational cannabis.
The agreement on legalization is the culmination of about three years of discussion. The Cannabis/Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act could be signed into law by the end of the week. Click to read prior insights from our Cannabis Industry Team, and stay tuned for a more detailed breakdown of the bill in upcoming legal alerts and podcasts.