Cuomo Unveils Plan to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use

On January 15th, Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed the details of proposed Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act, which would restrict access to anyone under 21, automatically seal marijuana offenses on a person’s criminal record. The proposed legislation would impose three taxes on the adult-use of marijuana, which together would generate roughly $300 million in new revenues for the state by the program’s third year. According to Cuomo counties and large cities would be allowed to “opt out” of the retail industry by passing local laws that prohibit marijuana shops from opening within their jurisdictions.

Revenues from the state taxes would go toward administering a regulated cannabis program; data gathering, monitoring and reporting; a traffic safety committee; small business development and loans; substance abuse, harm reduction and mental health treatment and prevention; public health education and intervention; research on cannabis uses and applications; and program evaluation and improvements.

The bill would create a new Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) that centralizes all the licensing, enforcement and economic development functions into one entity. The OCM would administer all licensing, production, and distribution of cannabis products in the adult-use, industrial and medical cannabis markets.

Read the full article from Timesunion.com, by Bethany Bump (click here for full article)

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