New York Poised To Legalize Recreational Marijuana, Pending Gov. Cuomo's Signature

Marijuana

Marijuana

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed a bill paving the way for recreational sales of marijuana to begin in the state next year, pushing an ETF tracking USA pot producers' stocks up more than 6% and on track for its best day since the US presidential election.

As of about 11 a.m. this morning, it is legal for people over 21 in NY state to possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana. That's a step beyond a 2019 law that expunged many past convictions for marijuana possession.

Democratic Rep. Kwame Mamdani of Queens said that even though some people insist that marijuana can lead people to become burdens to society: "Smoking marijuana can also lead to becoming an elected official".

'This is a historic day in NY - one that rights the wrongs of the past by putting an end to harsh prison sentences, embraces an industry that will grow the Empire State's economy, and prioritizes marginalized communities so those that have suffered the most will be the first to reap the benefits, ' Cuomo said in a statement.

The legislation expands the list of health conditions that qualify someone for medical marijuana, but hopeful New Yorkers with newly qualifying conditions will have to wait for the state to issue new regulations first.

Local governments could opt-out of retail sales.

Global X Research analyst Pedro Palandrani estimated that based on Cuomo's forecast of $350 million in cannabis tax revenue, the state's first year sales should top $2.5 billion to $2.7 billion.

On twitter, reactions to the news was mixed.

"New York has a storied history of being the progressive capital of the nation, and this important legislation will once again carry on that legacy", Cuomo said in a statement shortly after the bill passed both Houses.

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'Its official! About damn time! The first year of state-licensed recreational marijuana sales in MI saw $511 million of sales in recreational and $474 million in medical sales, generating over $100 million in tax revenue, but the state also found that the industry drastically failed to attract minority business owners.

Some were not as impressed, tweeting that there should not be a limit on how much marijuana a resident can grow in their homes.

In addition to record expungement, the state will restructure the marijuana penalty framework to avoid criminalization and reduce penalties for illegal possession and sale. "This is justice. How many other states to follow before we get national policy" one person tweeted.

Cuomo announced the signing of the landmark bill on social media, tweeting '#BREAKING: I just signed legislation legalizing adult-use cannabis. This is a historic day. I thank the Leader and Speaker and the tireless advocacy of so many'.

Mayor Mayor Bill de Blasio said the bill long overdue, tweeting 'This is about righting a wrong.

"This is a massive success for all New Yorkers, especially the Black and brown survivors of racist prohibition", Williams added. Healing begins now in our state'.

Observers say New York's move, which follows legalization in neighboring MA and New Jersey, builds momentum for legalization efforts nationwide.

"Legalizing marijuana guarantees young people will have greater access to a drug they shouldn't be anywhere near", said Minority Leader Will Barclay.

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