Cuomo signs recreational marijuana bill into law
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a bill into law on Wednesday legalizing recreational marijuana for adults.
Cuomo announced the measure on Twitter. It also creates expungement of previous marijuana convictions that would be legal.
The move makes New York the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana. Neighboring state New Jersey legalized recreational marijuana in late February.
“This is a historic day,” Cuomo tweeted. “I thank the [Senate Majority] Leader [Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D)] and Speaker [Carl E. Heastie (D)] and the tireless advocacy of so many.”
#BREAKING: I just signed legislation legalizing adult-use cannabis.
The bill creates automatic expungement of previous marijuana convictions that would now be legal.
This is a historic day.
I thank the Leader and Speaker and the tireless advocacy of so many.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 31, 2021
The state legislature passed the bill Tuesday evening, three days after lawmakers reached a deal with Cuomo on legalization. According to The Associated Press, the Senate voted 40-23 for the bill, while the Assembly passed it 100-49.
The bill allows residents over the age of 21 to have up to 3 ounces of cannabis and 24 ounces of cannabis concentrate on them outside the home. It also allows residents to keep up to three mature and three immature cannabis plants at home.
Cuomo’s office said at the time that tax collection from adult-use cannabis is expected to hit $350 million annually, and that the industry could create between 30,000 to 60,000 new jobs across the state.
The bill also creates licenses for producers and distributors of cannabis, and the state would have a goal of granting 50 percent of licenses to a minority or woman-owned enterprise, or distressed farmers or service-disabled veterans to participate in the industry.