Governor Andrew Cuomo Looks to Create a Comprehensive Adult-Use Marijuana Program in 2021 State of the State Address
Third Chance at Legalization
The year 2021 marks the third straight year Gov. Cuomo has pushed toward passing recreational marijuana legalization measures.
In 2018, the New York State Department of Health conducted a study showing the positive attributes of legalizing marijuana outweighed the negatives. However, the motion to pass legislation failed. The next year saw Governor Cuomo sign Senate Bill S6579A. The bill further decriminalized marijuana possession charges and wiped clean previous cannabis-related criminal records.
“This program will generate much-needed revenue while allowing us to support those that have been most harmed by decades of failed cannabis prohibition.”New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
New York Recreational Marijuana Use 2021
Although marijuana still remains illegal at the federal level, progress has steadily grown. The year 2014 marked the passing of the Compassionate Care Act, legalizing medical marijuana usage. The vote received overwhelming support from New York voters.
Cuomo is once again pushing for adult-use cannabis legislation in 2021. This is following the passing of legalization measures in New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota, and Montana. You can view those state laws and regulations here.
“Despite the many challenges New York has faced amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also created a number of opportunities to correct longstanding wrongs and build New York back better than ever before“New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Map of Marijuana Legalization in 50 States (Source: Weed News)
The new proposal would allow adults over the age of 21 to purchase marijuana for recreational use. As a result, an estimated $300 million is expected in tax revenue. Under Cuomo’s proposal, a new Office of Cannabis Management would be established to control both the new adult-use and the preexisting medical marijuana program.
The state currently operates under the New York State Medical Marijuana Program and uses the track and trace software BioTrackTHC.
The Other States Looking to Legalize Marijuana
New York Governor Cuomo has been an active voice for marijuana legalization for several years. However, he isn’t the only state looking towards establishing adult-use cannabis programs. According to the Cannabis Business Times, six other states plan to introduce marijuana legalization in 2021:
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- Texas (cannabis fully illegal)
- Virginia (cannabis fully illegal)