By Jelena Martinovic
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Recreational Marijuana Act today. This makes the Empire State the 15th in the US to legalize cannabis.
Legislation allows adults 21 and older to own up to 3 ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of marijuana concentrates and purchase recreational cannabis from licensed retailers.
The bill also allows up to three mature and three immature plants to be grown for personal use.
In addition to this, it will also help those wrongly punished for a marijuana-related activity that would now be legal.
#BREAKING: I just signed a law legalizing cannabis for adults.
The bill provides for an automatic deletion of previous marijuana convictions that would now be legal.
This is a historic day.
I thank the Chairman and Speaker and the tireless advocacy of so many.
– Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 31, 2021
New York Legislation Highlights: New Yorkers are allowed to smoke marijuana publicly wherever tobacco is allowed, the New York Times reported, adding that local governments and a new state agency may introduce stricter regulations.
Smoking is not permitted in schools, at work, or in the car.
RELATED: New York lawmakers vote on cannabis legalization law in a matter of days
New York legalized medical cannabis in 2014 and limited the number of operators to 10. Medical operators in the state can now enter the recreational market for a one-time fee, the Times reported.
Photo by Alex Azabache from Pexels
These 10 medical marijuana operators include the publicly traded cannabis companies Columbia Care Inc. (OTCQX: CCHWF), Curaleaf Hldgs Inc. (OTCQX: CURLF), MedMen Enterprises Inc. (OTCQX: MMNFF), Acreage Holdings Inc. (OTCQX: ACRHF) and Vireo Health International Inc. (OTCQX: VREOF).
The way to approval: New York lawmakers approved the marijuana legalization bill on Tuesday evening, just days after the latest text was released.
The proposal was tabled in four committees Tuesday before being approved by the Senate by 40-23 votes.
RELATED: New York Governor Cuomo Wants to Legalize Weed, But It Won’t Be Easy – Here’s Why
The State Assembly passed it with 100-49 votes, writes ABC7 New York.
“That’s the good thing about this legislation … we’re going to change the lives of some of these people and help them take care of themselves, their families and their communities,” said Congregation majority leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes.
Dustin Blitchok contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on Benzinga and was republished with permission.