NY Budgets for Marijuana Legalization

NY Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo outlines Marijuana Legalization in 2021 budget

Marijuana Legalization

Gov. Andrew Cuomo giving the 2020 State of the State address to the New York Legislature. Photo Credit: Seth Wenig

Olive Lundegaard (1/22/2020): As the new year rolls in, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is, again, addressing Marijuana Legalization. In the FY 2021 executive budget, Gov. Cuomo outlines a “comprehensive regulatory approach to legalize cannabis.” Gov. Cuomo also said he wants the SUNY system to set up a cannabis and hemp research center and work with neighboring states “to coordinate a safe and fair system.” In October 2019, Gov. Cuomo hosted governors from neighboring Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New Jersey for a Marijuana Legalization summit to discuss the issue. 

To address Marijuana Legalization, Gov. Cuomo also proposed creating a new government office, Cannabis Management, to specialize in cannabis regulation and oversee the medical, adult-use, and hemp programs. “The proposal will administer social equity licensing opportunities, develop an egalitarian adult-use market structure and facilitate market entry through access to capital, technical assistance, and incubation of equity entrepreneurs. The proposal will also correct past harms to individuals and communities that have disproportionally been impacted by prohibition.

To safeguard public health, the proposal limits the sale of cannabis products to adults 21 and over and establishes stringent quality and safety controls including oversight over the packaging, labeling, advertising and testing of all cannabis products. These efforts will be done in coordination with neighboring states Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The Governor will also propose creating a first of its kind Global Cannabis and Hemp Center for Science, Research and Education with SUNY and other expert partners.” 

Read Gov. Cuomo’s full budget here

What Other States are Doing

Connecticut legislative committees proposed similar legislation last year but never got full floor votes. It remains unclear how much support there might be this year.

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo plans to renew a recreational marijuana legalization proposal this year, but will likely run into trouble as state Senate and House leaders oppose it. 

In New Hampshire, a legalization proposal passed the state House last year but did not make it out of the Senate.

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