Governor Cuomo has announced the legalization of recreational cannabis use for adults 21 and over.
#BREAKING: I just signed legislation legalizing adult-use cannabis.
The bill creates automatic expungement of previous marijuana convictions that would now be legal.
This is a historic day.
I thank the Leader and Speaker and the tireless advocacy of so many.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 31, 2021
Lawmakers recently finalized the bill before it went before the state Assembly and Senate.
The governor has now signed the bill and has released the following statement:
“At long last, New York has legalized marijuana and created a fair program that will uplift communities of color previously harmed by criminalization. I am thrilled this legislation has achieved much of what we pushed for with that effort by prioritizing licenses for those negatively impacted by criminalization, expunging convictions for past marijuana charges, and new social equity initiatives that will help communities most harmed by past marijuana laws. I thank Assembly Speaker Heastie, Senate Majority Leader Stewart Cousins, Assembly Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes and Senator Krueger for fighting for justice through this important legislation.”
The new bill decriminalizes the possession of up to 3 ounces, and those who were previously charged with possession will have their records expunged.
The legal cannabis industry is estimated to generate about $350 million in annual revenue and create between 30,000 and 60,000 jobs. It’s expected that retail stores won’t start popping up for another year, but in the meantime, adults can grow up to six pot plants at home.
Senator Liz Krueger, one of the leaders of the movement to legalize weed, released the following statement via Twitter.
The bill is passed. pic.twitter.com/ESpkyCIJEM
— Senator Liz Krueger (@LizKrueger) March 30, 2021
Other local leaders joined in with tweets to show their support.
Finally, a huge step in the right direction to deliver justice. Marijuana legalization + the proactive empowerment of communities of color who’ve always been most harmed by criminalization is absolutely reason to celebrate.
— NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson (@NYCSpeakerCoJo) March 31, 2021
This is what progress looks like. Now, let’s pass the MORE Act and decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.
It’s long past time. https://t.co/j3HVXqw2kd
— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) March 31, 2021