New Yorkers can now rejoice as New York has become the 15th state in the nation to finally legalize cannabis for recreational use. Under this law, any adult over the age of 21 will be allowed to use and grow marijuana. There is also going to be a new regulated, legal marijuana market that will allow New Yorkers to walk into a dispensary and get their hands on cannabis. The tax collected will go towards funding education, drug treatment, and prevention, and communities disproportionately hurt by the war on drugs. Also, all criminal records of marijuana offenses that are no longer illegal are slated to be expunged. This particular law has come together after years and years of back and forth regarding legislation. This law has been stuck in the legislation red tape all thanks to the governor and lawmakers clashing about how the newly collected tax revenues had to be utilized. Medical Marijuana has been legal in New York since 2014. This new law will also work to expand the states existing medical marijuana program. Provisions include increasing the qualifying conditions and allowing patients to vape and smoke the herb.
Some of the salient features of the bill are:
It is still going to take about 18 months for cannabis sales to begin. Keep watching this space for any updates that may take place.