This week New York lawmakers and the state’s governor Andrew Cuomo have finally reached a deal to fast-track adult use legal recreational marijuana.
Senate Finance Committee chair Liz Krueger has said that the agreement would legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older as well as allow for personal possession of up to three ounces.
The agreement will further establish Amsterdam-style cafes in which marijuana could be smoked in the state and it would include a 13 percent tax on sales. 9 percent of the sales tax would go to the state while 4 percent would go to the local governments.
As part of the agreement, distributors would also pay an excise tax that could be as high as three cents per milligram of THC. The tax would be on a sliding scale, based on the type of product and how strong it is.
New York cities, towns, and villages also have to choice to approve retail and delivery weed within their jurisdiction.
The bill is expected to hit the State Assembly and the Senate next week before the state budget is due.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that the Office of Cannabis Management established in the proposal would report to a five-member board. Three members would be appointed by the governor, and the State Assembly and Senate would appoint one each.
Governor Cuomo’s office has previously estimated that legal weed could bring in around $350 million in taxes a year.
“We understand the ramifications of decades of incarceration of a people that actually ends up costing us, as a government, money,” Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said to Bloomberg News.
“This community reinvestment could reverse that whole dynamic. We could reinvest in people’s lives,” she added.
“This year we have to get it done, and getting it done by the time the budget is passed is essential,” said Governor Cuomo.