What’s the Latest In New York’s Cannabis Legalization Battle?

Every time we hear an update on New York state’s uphill fight to legalize cannabis, it seems to be delayed in perpetuity. This week, a revised package deal has hit the table in the final period of negotiation.

The new version of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act co-sponsored by State Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly Majority Leader Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes isn’t too far off from the previous drafting, but hopefully it will still carry activist support. With extra deals tacked on, everyone is hoping to at last get this bill passed and start the process of building the recreational market in the state.

With everything from a per-gram tax to an office to handle all operations in both hemp, recreational and medical cannabis, advocates are really hoping that this time around it will pass, because the last chance to get it done in 2019 is rapidly approaching as the session ends in just a few weeks.

The bill also covers social justice, with a fund to finally invest in communities harmed by the war on drugs as well as an expungement process for those with cannabis convictions.

Melissa Moore of the Drug Policy Allianced told Gothamist, “Any efforts to address records must be as robust and comprehensive as possible.”

The major hurdle at this point is to secure the backing of Governor Andrew Cuomo—which is completely up in the air at this point. 

Emerald contributor since May 2017

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