Gov says it’s still possible for New York to legalize adult-use marijuana by April

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he remains confident the Legislature can vote to legalize recreational cannabis as part of the state budget, which is due April 1.

The optimistic comments came after Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat, questioned whether lawmakers would have enough time to resolve thorny questions surrounding legalization while also working their way through a $175 billion budget.

While both the Democratic governor and Heastie support legalization, there’s not yet agreement on the details, such as rules about how the product should be sold and regulated as well as tax rates.

Cuomo’s plan, as outlined in his budget-briefing book, is to:

  • Issue separate grower, distributor and retail store licenses.
  • Prohibit cultivators from operating retail stores.
  • Institute three taxes.

Cuomo said that while getting a good bill passed is more important than the timing of the vote, he’s not giving up hope of adding New York to the list of states that have legalized adult-use marijuana.

A number of Northeast states are considering legalizing rec MJ.

“We’ll work very hard to get it done,” Cuomo said during an interview with WCNY radio. “In this business, six weeks is a lot of time. If we can’t do it right, then we’ll do it later.”

Attaching complicated proposals to the state budget – even if they aren’t strictly an issue of state finances – is one way Cuomo has used to get leverage over the Legislature.

Removing the issue from the budget could complicate the negotiations over legalization and potentially delay passage.

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily

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7 comments on “Gov says it’s still possible for New York to legalize adult-use marijuana by April
    • Waving Graves on

      What’s the hold up? legalize the plant NOW for crying out loud! Then the farmers start growing, shops established, and by this time I’m certain the market will be figured out.. However it seems to be going in the opposite direction…. By the time the red tape has been cut, and One is ready to sell, grow & package…They’ll be no product.. Typical Cuomo… The new tappanzee bridge went up in a jiffy.. I bet if a master grower named a strain after Cuomo dad, this industry would be on fire.

  1. DJF on

    Word of advice for anyone in NYS: still plan on this being done soon if you intend on going into business. Do not let the back and forth banter get in your way of planning. It will be here before you know it, and your moves RIGHT NOW will pave the way for your success.

  2. Ricky on

    All he literally has to say is yup legal like mass then hash out sales by April. Just make it legal and let us grow at least one plant

  3. Peter C on

    The state of medical marijuana in nys is pathetic. It couldn’t be worse. Can’t sell flower or edibles. The 1 vape pen that I bought was $80 and it stopped working after 22 hits …

    Cuomo’s program is a dismal failure. The stores are empty and the black market thrives.

  4. Michael Fleischhauer on

    I hope this guy needs to be a man of his word.Because that what won him the last election.He dont get this done.This will be his last term.

  5. retired state on

    Cuomo’s medical marijuana program discriminates against those who consume “as – needed”. The cheapest place I found in NY wants $175 for the appointment, $80-$100 for the prescription, and $150 for the test, which if your THC level isn’t consistent, you lose your prescription and get accused of selling. Insurance won’t cover it. It’s all out of pocket, no co-pay, and I’m a vet and a retired state worker. Way to strengthen the black market. You can buy sell and use opioids now, and as long as you don’t sell fentanyl and someone dies from overdosing, you get treatment and no jail time. They still arrest for even petty possession here in my town. Some weeks are better than others, so I don’t have a consistent need, and sometimes I have to do things where I can’t use marijuana. Cuomo’s plan is a fraud and a scam.

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