Cuomo particulars how he desires to spend some marijuana tax income in announcement of additives to proposed laws
STATEN ICELAND, NY – Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new laws Tuesday detailing and complementing aspects of the state’s proposal on adult recreational marijuana.
According to a media release from the governor’s office, three new changes to the proposed recreational legalization would allow delivery services, adjust criminal complaints related to black market sales, and detail how funds generated by new taxes will be distributed.
“Our comprehensive approach to legalizing and regulating the adult cannabis market is an opportunity to generate much-needed revenue,” said Cuomo.
“But it also enables us to provide direct support to the communities hardest hit by the war on drugs by creating justice and jobs at every level and in every community in our great state.”
The state expects the new recreational marijuana industry to generate more than $ 300 million in tax revenue, of which amounts will be earmarked for a “Social Equity Fund” that will be used to support those “the strongest of decades.” Cannabis ban are affected ”.
If the legislation passes in April, the Fund will be allocated $ 100 million over four years from the following year, with an allocation of $ 50 million annually after those years.
According to Tuesday’s media release, municipalities and nonprofits can apply for a portion of this funding for things like job placement, drug abuse treatment and housing.
The new industry would create an estimated 60,000 jobs in addition to the new tax revenue.
Another proposal announced by Cuomo on Tuesday would legalize marijuana delivery services that “offer a low-cost entry into the industry,” according to his bureau, particularly benefiting poor communities.
According to a press release, local governments have the option of deactivating these services on their territory.
Eventually, the governor’s proposals would update the state’s criminal code regarding marijuana sales outside the proposed legal market. Sales to anyone under the age of 21 and large sales remain criminal offenses but are subject to less punishment.
“If a new product market is created, as the governor’s proposal does, there will inevitably be attempts by bad actors to circumvent rules and commit fraud for their own financial gain,” the news release said.
“So it is vital to ensure that penalties are carefully calibrated to ensure that anyone wishing to enter this new market is on a level playing field.”
THE PATH TO LEGALITY
Cuomo put forward the first plan for marijuana legalization in the first week of the New Year and expanded its plans during his State of the State 2021 speech.
Under the governor’s plan, the sale of marijuana products to adults 21 and over will be banned. According to Cuomo’s office, security controls include “strict regulation of the packaging, labeling, advertising and testing of all cannabis products”.
Laws to legalize adult marijuana have been on Cuomo’s agenda for several years as neighboring New Jersey pushed legalization forward as well.
In 2018, the Ministry of Health, led by Cuomo, conducted an interagency study that found that the positive effects of legalizing drug use among adults outweighed the negative. It was also found that the US’s ban on the drug for several decades failed to meet public health and safety goals, while also leading to unfair arrests and convictions – especially among color communities.
Cuomo then signed a law decriminalizing illegal possession in 2019, while also instituting proceedings to clear records of certain marijuana convictions.
Adult marijuana use has been legalized in 16 states in addition to the District of Columbia. There are only six states where recreational or medical uses are not legal.
Across the border in New Jersey, an active marijuana industry is months, if not a year, away from reality.
After the law is officially signed, Staten Islanders could cross the line and buy THC products. The minimum age for participation is 21 years. If the pharmacies are open while the drug remains illegal in New York, residents will be breaking state law upon re-entering the district.
In March, Staten Island’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened its doors to customers. Delivery services have already been an option for patients meeting government prescription requirements.
>> This article uses Kyle Lawson’s reporting.