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Gov. Cuomo, Legislative leaders announce agreement to legalize adult-use cannabis

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NEW YORK (WBNG) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced an agreement on legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis.

The bill would establish the Office of Cannabis Management to create a framework that would cover medical, adult-use, and cannabinoid hemp.

The bill too would expand NY state's existing medical marijuana and cannabinoid hemp programs.

The new legislation provides licensing for marijuana producers, distributors, retailers, etc. in the cannabis market.

Officials say the bill will create a social and economic equity program to assist individuals that are disproportionately impacted by cannabis enforcement and want to participate in the industry.

Allan Gandelman, President of NY Cannabis Growers and Processors Association Regarding Legislation to Legalize Cannabis said in a statement regarding the Governor's and NY State Leader's announcement;

“This is a historic moment for the state of New York, and one that will bring with it good jobs, investment, and cutting-edge entrepreneurial opportunity through the creation of an entirely new sustainable and equitable industry. Cannabis legalization will jumpstart our state’s economic recovery and serve as a real investment in a forward-looking culture that puts New York cannabis consumers, small business owners, farmers and cultivators first. We’re grateful to Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Heastie, Senator Krueger, and Assembly Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes’ for their leadership in negotiating and finalizing this critical legislation ending prohibition and opening the doors to cannabis legalization in New York. We look forward to the prompt passage of this legislation that will ensure that our state’s craft farmers and cultivators remain central to the economic development, revenues, and prosperity generated by this budding industry.”

Allan Gandelman

Officials say tax collections from the adult-use cannabis program are projected to reach $350 million annually. Additionally, there is the potential for this new industry to create 30,000 to 60,000 new jobs across the State.

"Legalizing adult-use cannabis isn't just about creating a new market that will provide jobs and benefit the economy -- it's also about justice for long-marginalized communities and ensuring those who've been unfairly penalized in the past will now get a chance to benefit. I look forward to signing this legislation into law," Governor Cuomo said.

For more information on the new legislation, click here.

Abigail Lane

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