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NY Legalizes Recreational Weed, Looks to Earn $350M

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Marijuana in New York. Cannabis Leaf-Recreational Weed-ss-featured

On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill legalizing the use of recreational weed. This opens up a potential industry that can generate $350 million a year in tax revenues and create 60,000 new jobs. The new law “embraces an industry that will grow the Empire State’s economy, and prioritizes marginalized communities so those that have suffered the most will be the first to reap the benefits,” Cuomo said in a statement. Experts foresee NY’s legal cannabis program to generate up to $3.5 billion a year in economic activity for the state.

RELATED: Weed Stocks Get High, Harris Promises Decriminalization

NY To State Licenses for Recreational Weed Growers 

The new law will issue state licenses for farmers, distributors, makers, and retail locations. They will get permission for their clients to consume products on-site, such as lounges. In addition, New York law enforcement will stop arresting or prosecuting citizens for marijuana possession of up to 3 ounces. 

All previous convictions of low-level marijuana possession will now face review, and offenders will get charges dropped. Earlier in 2019, Cuomo signed a law that removed criminal penalties for minor possession. As a result, over 150,000 people sealed their previous marijuana convictions. This means the public will not have access to these records, which still exist. Instead, the new law will now drop the charges altogether. 

Economic Imbalances

Also, the new marijuana law aims to address the economic imbalance caused by local enforcement. 40% of revenues will now bankroll a social equity fund. In turn, these will fund programs to help those affected by previous marijuana arrests. Nonprofits and local government agencies can apply for funding for job placement, housing, or legal defense programs.

Cuomo’s signing makes New York the 15th state to legalize recreational weed. Earlier, neighbor New Jersey made the same decision. Apart from unburdening law enforcement officials, legalizing weed can bring back the tourism New York lost during the pandemic. 

Legal Framework Still Needed

Before the first New Yorker can light up the first legal sale, New York will need to hurdle a massive regulatory framework to deal with the new industry. However, estimates see a completion of the system within 18 months, so New York will likely start its weed business by next year at the earliest. Laura Schultz, executive director  “Any time you’re starting a market from scratch, it takes time to set up,” said Laura Schultz, Rockefeller Institute of Government’s executive director thinks the benefits are worth the wait. “With the projections that I’ve been seeing, it’s going to be about $1.2 billion in the first year of recreational sales, and perhaps growing into about $4 billion or more in about four or five years,” she said. 

Even with all the projected hard work, federal legalization of recreational weed can blow up states’ efforts. Legalizing marijuana on a national level can open up interstate trades and sprout national companies. “If federal marijuana or cannabis policy changes, the benefits of a self-contained industry within a state can evaporate,” Schultz said.

Timing Is Everything

Cuomo signed the bill at an opportune time. The movement to legalize marijuana started a few years ago but development went at a slower pace. With the governor currently embroiled in a number of sexual misconduct scandals, the signing is seen as an olive branch to progressives. This group is among the most vocal New Yorkers who want Cuomo out of office.

Watch the NBC News Now report where New York legalizes recreational marijuana:

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Do you support the legalization of recreational weed? Does your state allow recreational use of marijuana? Tell us what you think of marijuana in general. Share your opinions in the comment section below.

20 Comments

20 Comments

  • Avatar Kevin says:

    Yes I support the use of marijuana,and no it’s not legal in my state

  • Avatar Bernie Krulewich says:

    I’m not againest the use of recreational marijuana! “HOWEVER, THERE IS NO (NONE) NEED FOR IT WITHIN A NORMAL SOCIETY” The end result is strickly a revenue generator, and has no beniffet to society as a whole.
    Just look around and you’ll whittness the results, what it’s doing to our young citizens, where our country is going, what good has come of it?
    I can support the dechrimalition of the use of Marijuana, but to open the flood gate, is just wrong for America, and the development of a normal society.
    IT’S JUST PLAIN STUPID! It’s all about the money to be generated for the states.
    Another, dumbass liberal position, as the father of four and grandfather of an equal number of children, they have all been raised to respect others, so if its acceptable in youer family have at ! KEEP IT AWAY FROM MINE.

    JUST ANOTHER DUMBASS GOVERMENTAL MOVE TO DESTROY AMERICAN CULTURE!

    ANY GOVERNOR THAT CAN SUPPORT THE LEGALIZATION OF ANY DRUG, SHOULD BE TAKEN IMMEDIATELY TO THE TOWN SQUARE AND HUNG! RIGHT AFTER HAVING THEIR FINGER NAILS PULLED OUT AT THE ROOT OF EACH FINGER AND TOENAIL.

    THIS ABSOLUTELY SICKEN ME! IT’S NO SURPRISE IT ORGINIATES IN ALL THE LIBERALLY RAN STATES……

  • Avatar James Williams says:

    This is nothing more than a money maker for the government!

  • Avatar BBA says:

    I smoked weed as a teenager and know from experience that it makes you a lazy non productive human being. Now as a parent and much older I can see why my parents and older generations warned about smoking it. In my business I witness daily the young 20ish potheads that do not care about their jobs,….or even getting one and find much more comfort in living at home with their parents while staying high and playing video games all day. There are uses for this drug that are beneficial but to allow every young kid the legal opportunity to stay high continuously is a very stupid idea. We are past a productive society all ready with the “Entitlement Education system” we have in place and now all of these states think keeping the kids zoned out from reality is going to be productive??? You can’t fix stupid applies here!!

  • Avatar J.D.C says:

    Yes I do. My state has medical marijuana. I smoke. And I’m mot lazy. I smoke I don’t want to go out and rob someone, just kick back and enjoy.

  • Avatar Diana Nelson says:

    Legalization of weed is as addictive as prescribed medication. Works in the same way by creeping up on a person. Using more often until they move to using something else that will satisfy the need. God our Father desires us to keep a sober mind and body. For we do not know the time and hour of his return. Also the Government has more chance of controlling us in our slumber. Then we lose our Freedom. America let Freedom Ring.

  • Avatar DJ511185 says:

    No. I don’t want people driving stoned. I do not believe it is a “gateway” drug. I can have a drink and NOT be drunk. You cannot smoke a joint and not be high.

  • Avatar Mike Steeger says:

    Let the government distroy people by getting. them high. This way they have full control. Like sheep being lead to the slaughter

  • Avatar Anonymous says:

    How many people get killed by drunk drivers every year? How many people get killed by people that are high? There is no real danger from people that are high compared to people that drink.

  • Avatar Tali says:

    This is only so people can engage in debauchery and pacify the masses from too much government control. A high population doesn’t pay attention to votes and facts. Before long they’ll be legalizing heroin.

  • Avatar JHittle says:

    Legalizing marijuana is a political scam to generate more money for government agencies to waste on political payoffs and add to their political funds. The constant craving for more money has corrupted our politicians and there is little concern for the public safety. What next?? Legalize Prostitution? It too could raise money for states to waste.

    Of more concern is the alarming trend of teaching people to go ahead and ignore laws and rules. If you are caught or arrested or injure someone it’s no problem. You will probably be excused from any responsibility later anyway. So just go ahead and do whatever you want. Make yourself feel good and don’t worry about anyone else or any laws. Your records will be purged and over night you will change from criminal to an outstanding citizen with a clean record.

  • Avatar P-Daddy says:

    I just think that cannabis is another sacred herb placed on the earth by the Creator to be used for the person’s pun health. Be it mental health or physical health. Not to control your life by criminalisation of it. Alcohol is so much more dangerous and has ruined countless lives.
    I’ve Ben using cannabis for about 55 years and know how to use it properly to relax not to get too impaired and able to function any task with great performance. I’ve never liked the use of the names that degrade the god given plant some of which were originally used to protect the user. Such as weed, which is an unwanted plant, Marijuana, a name to to blame the Mexican people for this “scerege” being put upon us, originally brought to us by sailors from the Europe.. And other names that I won’t mention to degrade the Sacred herb. Smoke responsibly

  • Avatar doxiegirl says:

    If it is used for medicinal purposes then I believe it is much better than supporting BIG PHARMA, which I absolutely cannot stand. How many pills does a person need to take care of their issues? One pill turns into 15+ and I know this for a fact because many in my family over the age of 45 have to take anywhere from 15-30 pills day for their many ailments. I don’t believe that any of them work… they just do what the Dr prescribes because he has been given his info from a rep from pharma companies pushing the drugs that Big Pharma sells to you. It’s all a horrible joke. Of course you will always have a multitude of people that ruin weed for others that need it for medicinal purposes. At some point the government has to stop controlling what people ingest and do with their bodies. Let people make their own decisions. If they need weed to help with cancer, pain, autoimmune disease then so be it. If weed helps and you are able to discard your pills that cause a multitude of side effects then more power to you, There will always be a debate about this.

  • Avatar CM says:

    As if people aren’t checked the F out enough already. Exactly what the society needs, another way for people to escape problems rather than solve them. I’m all for having a good time once you got your stuff together. This culture most certainly does not have its stuff together, least of all NY(C), with its tanked economy, surging crime rate and fleeing middle class. His is a last ditch effort by the governor to save his greasy skin.

  • Avatar Bill P. says:

    Cannabis has been on planet earth for 40 million years. Yes,
    It IS an intoxicant that neither kills humans or permanently disables them UNLIKE Alcohol. Alcohol both kills AND permanently disables thousands of Americans every year. There are many known medical benefits for Cannabis, many of which are yet to be uncovered. In a free society individuals choose there behaviors NOT government. It’s about time we start thinking about our individual liberty and that rights come from God, not government

  • Avatar Terence H Kyle says:

    Marijuana is not a gateway drug. Illegal pushers are the gateway. Having to go to these people that deal drugs illegally is what introduces people to other much more dangerous drugs. These underground suppliers have no control over the availability or quality of the product, and when they are out of marijuana, will sell anything in order to keep their clients. If there were state run stores for marijuana, that always had a consistent supply of quality pot, I believe that most if not all users would never move on to more dangerous drugs.

  • Avatar Sumeria Walton says:

    it help with pain it should be use for health issues

  • Avatar Eric L Voebel says:

    I thought that legalizing cannabis was supposed to be on Joe Biden’s first hundred day agenda Naldo trump Biden CDC coming out with bullshit studies On marijuana engine total lies again WTF

  • Avatar Eric L Voebel says:

    I thought that legalizing cannabis was supposed to be on Joe Biden’s first hundred day agenda Naldo trump Biden CDC coming out with bullshit studies On marijuana engine total lies again WTF

  • Avatar Arthur Randolph Montgomery says:

    In the 60’s everyone I knew in the Northend of Seattle smoked pot. Even the rich kids. In the 80’s people began growing their own because of less trouble than border crossing. It bacame stronger and I quit for 25-30 years. I went through chemo therapy, lost 40 lbs. The pills didn’t help much for nausia, mood, lack of sleep, etc. I realised pot might help. By then medical marijuana was legal in Seattle. A Doctor in Bellevue, Washington prescribed a marijuana card and taught me about vaporization lessining the harmfull effects to the lungs. I was able to complete another 3 months of chemo. It was much easier. Do to affordability I’ve landed in Idaho. Pot helps me sleep now. Since it’s illegal here I’m afraid of having pot here. I have to take sleeping pills that have a negative effect. Canada to the North(legal) Montana (medical pot)legal Washington(legal)Oregon(legal) Come on Idaho, at least allow for medical marijuana. Pot isn’t a gateway to drugs. The dealers back in the 60’s would say, ” see there’s nothing wrong with it try this. Ther are no hangovers with pot, not addictive unless your an individual that gets hooked on food or something of a mental disorder. Bernie Sanders and President Biden both said they would make it legal. I can’t wait. As I type, I’m feeling foggy because of a 5 miligram sleeping pill I took last night. Most of this day will be unproductive. I know I’d be perfectly ok if I had taken one toke,drag,puff of Marijuana 5 minutes before bed. If I inhail pot 1/2 hour before bed I’ll be eating cookies. Smile Wink.LEGALIZE POT NOW. Thank you.

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