ALBANY, NY – After several years of unfortunate attempts, legalization has finally arrived in New York. The Empire State was the sixteenth state to legalize recreational cannabis, after the governor Andrew Cuomo (DN.Y.) today signed the Marijuana Revenue and Taxation Act (MRTA).
According to the MRTA, adults 21 years and older are allowed to have up to three ounces of cannabis flower and twenty-four grams of concentrate, including oils and wax. Growing at home is also permitted under the new law.
Part of the dynamic that led New York to finalize cannabis legalization has to do with criminal justice reform, which Governor Cuomo highlighted after signing the law.
“This is a historic day in New York – one that will eradicate the wrongs of the past by ending harsh prison sentences, embracing an industry that grows the Empire State economy, and prioritizing marginalized communities so that those who live on Be the first to reap the benefits, “Cuomo said in a statement. “I take pride in the fact that these comprehensive reforms take into account and balance social justice, security and the economic impact of justice Adult cannabis. ”
Although portions of the MRTA, including the three ounce ownership limit, take effect immediately, it will take time for all regulations to be final. Currently, cannabis use is allowed wherever tobacco use is allowed (with the exception of cars in the car). However, local authorities could aim to limit public consumption in the future. Finally, New Yorkers can expect consumer-style lounges, home delivery, and in-store sales.
Once New York’s adult entertainment industry is up and running, 40 percent of Leagal sales tax revenue will go to communities hardest hit by the draconian cannabis enforcement. Individuals convicted of no longer illegal cannabis-related crimes will be automatically deleted. Additionally, individuals with prior beliefs, who are often prohibited from joining the cannabis industry, are allowed to participate in the legalized industry.
New York has a long history of aggressively prosecuting people for cannabis possession. New York City, in particular, is known for its “stop-and-frisk” tactics, which are unfairly directed against black and Latin American communities. Many cannabis advocates and members of the industry are encouraged to finally see New York reverse its strict policy on cannabis.
“This signals an end to the racially discriminatory policies that have long made the Empire State the marijuana arrest capital of the United States, if not the world.” NORML executive Director Erik Altieri said. “This prevents the police from arresting tens of thousands of New Yorkers annually for low-level marijuana crimes, the majority of whom are predominantly young, poor and colored.”
Deputy Director of Empire State NORML Troy Smit knows how much work lawyers have done pushing for legalization.
“It took activists, patients and consumers a lot of work and perseverance to move from being the cannabis arrest capital of the world to leading the world with a legalized market that advocates justice, diversity and inclusion,” said Smit. “That might not be the perfect law, but today cannabis users can hold their heads up and smell the flowers.”
National Association of the Cannabis Industry executive Director Aaron Smith believes the United States is reaching a tipping point when it comes to national legalization.
“We are fast approaching a point where the majority of Americans will live in states that have passed adult cannabis regulation laws, and we are counting on Congress and the White House to finally get federal law through these successful state programs harmonize.”