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Governor Cuomo Calls For Marijuana Legalization In New York State Of The State Address

Posted by Frederic Abramson | Jan 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a proposal to legalize and create a comprehensive system to oversee and regulate cannabis in New York as part of the 2021 State of the State.

Under the Governor's proposal, a new Office of Cannabis Management would be created to oversee the new adult-use program, as well as the State's existing medical and cannabinoid hemp programs. Additionally, an equitable structure for the adult-use market will be created by offering licensing opportunities and assistance to entrepreneurs in communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. Once fully implemented, legalization is expected to generate more than $300 million in tax revenue. 

We will legalize adult-use recreational cannabis, joining 15 states that have already done so Governor Cuomo stated. 

This will raise revenue and end the failed prohibition of this product that has left so many communities of color over-policed and over-incarcerated.#SOTS2021

— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 11, 2021

Lawmakers separately prefiled a bill to legalize cannabis in New York last week. The legislation, introduced in the Senate by Sen. Liz Krueger (D) and 18 other lawmakers, is identical to a version she filed last year that did not advance.

His renewed effort comes after New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved the legalization of recreational pot in November. Details of the soon-to-be-law in the Garden State are still being hammered out by the state Legislature before it heads to Gov. Phil Murphy's desk.

Cuomo acknowledged that drug laws have long disproportionately affected communities of color.

“I think too many people have been imprisoned, incarcerated and punished,” he said. “It's exaggerated the injustice of the justice system.”

The text of the bill can be found here.

The bill addresses the following potential marijuana business licenses and you need to be aware of the following potential regulations: 

  • Adult-use cultivator license.
  • Registered organization adult-use cultivator processor
  • Distributor retail dispensary license.
  • Registered organization adult-use cultivator license.
  • Adult-use processor license.
  • Small business adult-use cooperative license.
  • Adult-use distributor license.
  • Adult-use retail dispensary license.
  • Microbusiness license.
  • Delivery license.
  • Nursery license.
  • Notification to municipalities of adult-use retail dispensary or on-site consumption license.
  • Adult-use on-site consumption license; provisions governing on-site consumption licenses.
  • Record keeping and tracking.
  • Inspections and ongoing requirements.
  • Adult-use cultivators, processors or distributors not to be interested in retail dispensaries. 
  • Packaging and labeling of adult-use cannabis products.
  • Laboratory testing.
  • Provisions governing the cultivation and processing of 6 adult-use cannabis.
  • Provisions governing the distribution of adult-use cannabis
  • Provisions governing adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries.
  • Adult-use cannabis advertising.
  • Social and economic equity, minority and women-owned businesses, disadvantaged farmers and service-disabled veterans; incubator program.
  • Data collection and reporting.

If you plan on opening a marijuana business in New York, feel free to contact our office at 212-233-0666 for a free consultation. 

About the Author

Frederic Abramson

I am the principal of The Law Office of Frederic R. Abramson. Im an experienced litigator with experience in a wide range of legal areas. My practice encompasses civil litigation, business law, personal injury and real estate. I have handled litigation matters from inception to trial. I have co...


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