New York lawmakers appear poised to legalize the sale and use of recreational marijuana for most adults in the state.
The Democrat-led Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo released details of the legislation Saturday night.
The measure still needs to be voted on by the state Senate and Assembly, then signed into law by Cuomo.
In the meantime, take a look at what the legislation includes and how it could impact New Yorkers.
The legislation would allow recreational marijuana sales to adults over the age of 21.
A licensing process will need to be established for the delivery of cannabis products to customers. Local governments could opt out of retail sales under the proposed legislation.
Individual New Yorkers could grow up to three mature and three immature plants for personal consumption.
If passed, the legislation would take effect immediately, however sales wouldn’t start immediately. The state will need time to establish rules and a proposed cannabis board. Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes estimated it could take 18 months to two years for legal sales to begin.
The bill would eliminate penalties for possession of less than three ounces of cannabis. Anyone with a past conviction for marijuana-related offenses that would no longer be criminalized would have their record automatically expunged.
Under the legislation, New York would provide loans, grants and incubator programs to encourage participation in the cannabis industry by people from minority communities, as well as small farmers, women and disabled veterans.
The bill sets a 9% sales tax on cannabis, plus an additional 4% tax split between the county and local government. An additional tax would also be imposed based on the level of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, ranging from 0.5 cents per milligram for flower to 3 cents per milligram for edibles.
The Cuomo administration estimated legalization could eventually generate about $350 million annually.
The bill also sets aside revenues to cover the costs of everything from regulating marijuana, to substance abuse prevention.
Originally published by pix11.com