This week, Governor Cuomo took another step towards legalizing adult use marijuana in New York state by releasing an amended version of his recreational marijuana proposal. The amended proposal comes one week before administration officials testify at a joint legislative hearing on the state budget’s tax-related proposals.
Highlights of the amended proposal include:
- $100 Million Social Equity Fund. The proposal sets aside $100 million of collected revenue for the creation of a social equity fund administered by the Empire State Development Corporation. Qualified community-based nonprofit organizations and local governments will be eligible to apply for the funding to revitalize communities most impacted by the war on drugs (i.e, for use supporting job placement and skills services, adult education, mental health, substance use disorder treatment, housing, nutritional services, child care, etc.).
- Delivery Services. The amended proposal authorizes the use of delivery services (like UberEats, GrubHub) for cannabis products, which Cuomo says will broaden access to and create opportunities within this new industry. Local governments will have the option to opt out from the use of delivery services.
- Reducing Criminal Penalties. The amended proposal reduces criminal penalties for the illegal sale of marijuana. For example, the amended proposal reduces the penalty for selling marijuana to someone under the age of 21 years old from a felony to a misdemeanor.
For more information on Governor Cuomo’s proposal to legalize adult-use marijuana, read our Legal Alert.
This alert does not purport to be a substitute for advice of counsel on specific matters.
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