New York could see legalized marijuana, according to new governor’s budget

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Governor Andrew Cuomo could potentially be considering a push for cannabis this year

With more optimism than last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo is including cannabis legalization in his new budget proposal presented on Tuesday, paving the way for the lawmakers to consider the reform in this 2020 session. This move from Cuomo follows after a new poll performed in the Empire State shows the highest levels of support from citizens, suspected to be at the highest level ever. Optimism is what is needed for this year’s proposal, as this is the second year in a row Cuomo presents a legal marijuana proposal. Last year, legislators could not reach an agreement on the finer points around the legalization issue.

In this new proposal, New York is up for receiving $20 million in revenue for the 2021 fiscal year and, for 2022, the amount is expected to be close to $63 million, based on the governor’s projections. His projections continue to grow as $188 million is expected by 2025. “Legalize adult-use cannabis,” Cuomo said during his budget speech, adding, “I believe it is best done in the budget. I said that last year. I believe the budget is the opportunity, frankly, to make some tough decisions and work through tough issues that without the budget can often languish, and I suggest that we get it done in the budget.”

“This year Governor Cuomo is proposing a comprehensive regulatory approach to legalize cannabis, creating a new Office of Cannabis Management to specialize in cannabis regulation—overseeing the medical, adult-use and hemp programs,” his office said, explaining further, “The proposal will administer social equity licensing opportunities, develop an egalitarian adult-use market structure and facilitate market entry through access to capital, technical assistance, and incubation of equity entrepreneurs.”

Based on an extract from this proposal, “The Budget regulates and controls the production, distribution, transportation, and sale of cannabis, cannabis-related products, and medical cannabis within the NYS, for the purposes of fostering and promoting temperance in their consumption, to properly protect the public health, safety, and welfare and to promote social equity.”

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