New York Senate Passes Marijuana Bill

The New York State Senate voted 40-23 to pass a bill to legalize recreational marijuana.

Finally, it appears that the Empire State will legalize marijuana, after the New York State Senate voted 40-23 to pass a recreational marijuana legalization bill on Tuesay.

The bill now needs to be voted upon by the New York State Assembly and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Once that's done, New York will become the 15th U.S. state to have legalized recreational cannabis, following New Jersey most recently.

The bill would legalize the consumption, production, and sale of cannabis for those aged 21 years and above, with a 13% state tax, and an excise tax of up to 3 cents per milligram of THC based upon the potency of the product.

Governor Cuomo has vowed to sign the bill when it arrives on his desk and has in fact been very supportive of marijuana legalization for several years.

In an interview at the end of last year, Cuomo stated that "I think this year is ripe [for legalization] because this state is going to be desperate for funding, even with Biden, even with stimulus, even with everything else, we're still gonna need funding and it's also the right policy, so I think we get this done."

The mayor of New York City, Bill De Blasio also said that "I think this [marijuana legalization] bill goes a long way. I think there's more to do after, but it goes a long way."

According to CNBC, Cuomo's office estimates that the tax revenue from cannabis legalization in New York could eventually generate upwards of $300 million a year and roughly 60,000 jobs.

In addition to legalizing the cultivation, production, and distribution of cannabis and cannabis products, the legalization bill would also expunge criminal records relating to cannabis crimes, in an effort to correct the harmful impacts of the War on Drugs.

Moreover, efforts have been included which specifically aim to alleviate the harms placed upon minority communities, with 40% of taxes from the bill going toward communities of color as well as 50% of licenses being given to social equity applicants.

Passage of the cannabis legalization bill would mean that cannabis could be legally available in New York within 12-24 months.

Get the Latest Marijuana News &
Content in your Inbox!

All your support helps The Green Fund keep writing content for all you
marijuana enthusiasts and potential pot stock investors

Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.