New York lawmakers reach deal to legalize marijuana

New York lawmakers have reportedly reached an agreement to legalize recreational marijuana in the state.

According to Bloomberg, the state is prepared to legalize recreational marijuana use for people aged 21 and older.

The deal would reportedly include a 13 percent tax on sales and would provide licenses to dispensaries.

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Nine percent of the 13 percent pot tax would go to the state, Bloomberg notes, while the remaining 4 percent would go to local governments. The New York governor’s office estimates that a legal cannabis program in the state could bring in around $350 million annually, it added.

“It is my understanding that the three-way agreement has been reached and that bill drafting is in the process of finishing a bill that we all have said we support,” state Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Liz Krueger (D) told the news outlet.

Krueger added that she expects lawmakers to vote on the measure as early as next week.

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCould Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? NYC George Floyd statue to be relocated after vandalism As Biden's America becomes less safe, the violence and crime could cost Democrats MORE (D) said early Wednesday that a deal on marijuana legalization was close to being made, Bloomberg notes, adding that it is one of his budget priorities. 

In February, Virginia lawmakers passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana, though the legalization would not go into effect until 2024. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has yet to sign the bill, with state lawmakers hoping he will send it back with amendments that would speed up the bill's implementation.