New York Lawmakers Reach Deal To Legalize Recreational Marijuana
Following its neighbor New Jersey, New York is in the final stages of preparing to legalize recreational marijuana. A new proposal agreed to by New York state lawmakers aims to legalize marijuana use, growing and possession for New Yorkers 21 and older. Retail ventures with the plant would be taxed 13%.
“The Cannabis Law,” as it is called by New York legislators, would also found the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), which would help oversee the expected boom of business ventures involving marijuana in the state.
New Jersey’s legislation went further fully decriminalizes marijuana. “Maintaining a status quo that allows tens of thousands, disproportionately people of color, to be arrested in New Jersey each year for low-level drug offenses is unjust and indefensible,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said, referencing the fact that many Americans are currently in prison for non-violent drug crimes, thousands for marijuana sale and possession.
New York’s law will not decriminalize marijuana, as there will still be criminal penalties for unlawful possession and sale of cannabis. Three ounces of flower or 24 grams of concentrated cannabis will constitute a violation while more than 10 pounds of flowered cannabis, or four pounds concentrated will constitute a Class D felony.
The law also gives municipalities the option to opt-out of adult legalization if they pass individual laws prohibiting adult-use dispensaries within a given jurisdiction.