After years of seizures and beginnings, New York finally seems ready to pass a comprehensive cannabis law that legalizes recreational cannabis and expands its existing restrictive medical cannabis program. Governor Andrew Cuomo and Congregation Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes spent the weekend negotiating revised laws, elements of Governor Cuomo’s legalization plan and the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act sponsored by Congregation Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes (MRTA) combine. While the final version of the legislation has not yet been released, Marihuana Moment reports that the revised legislation “will be more similar to the Two Major Legislators Sponsored (MRTA) Proposal”.
As a brief refresher, the MRTA was pre-filed in the New York Senate in early January 2021. The key provisions of the MRTA included:
- Creation of a central regulator to authorize and regulate cannabis products and companies for medical purposes, adults and hemp.
- Legalize the purchase of recreational cannabis by adults aged 21 and over.
- Allows growing up to six plants for personal use.
- An 18 percent tax on cannabis sales.
- A social and economic justice regime that grants 50 percent of adult cannabis licenses to people in communities who have historically been disproportionately affected by the criminalization of cannabis, color communities, minority and women-owned businesses, disadvantaged farmers and disabled veterans.
A separate pre-tabled bill, co-sponsored by Congregation Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes, would remove the “serious” label as a requirement for medical marijuana qualification and reduce the amount of cannabis a patient can buy at a time by 30 Increase to 30 60 days delivery.
How soon will New York law actually be passed? The answer is: possibly next week. NY1’s Andrew Fink reports that “a final version of a marijuana legalization bill in New York should be released the next day or so, clearing the way for a vote in both houses by next week.” We’d love to see it.
These are exciting times for the New York cannabis industry, which has long been considered a sleeping giant because of its significant population and New York City’s status as a financial and cultural hub. A detailed summary of the final bill can be found on the law Law Blog.