New York Governor To Attempt Cannabis Legalization In January
Four new states, including New Jersey, have already passed legalization measures, meaning that New York is surrounded on three sides by states that have opened or are about to open new markets. The state legislature and Governor Cuomo will try for the third time to pass a law authorizing recreational marijuana in the next session, which begins in January. “Third times a charm”, said Michael O'Brien, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, a group that advocates legalization. It is estimated that legalizing recreational cannabis in New York could generate up to $300 million in revenue annually.
But don't hold your breath for legalizing recreational cannabis in New York, at least not yet, according to O'Brien of the Marijuana Policy Project.
A Citizens Budget Commission released a report titled "Getting into the Weeds about Potential Recreational Marijuana Revenues”. One of the report's key findings is that it will likely take several years for the government to realize any revenue. In other states, it has shown that it takes about three to four years to generate consistent tax revenues.
If the legislature and the governor can agree on a plan and a 10 percent tax rate on marijuana sales, it could result in a significant increase in the state's budget.
The question of how marijuana revenue should be distributed has been the main obstacle to transit in recent years. Oreck told Capital Tonight that the best use for revenue must be to balance the budget with the additional revenue. He argued that good use of the revenue is similar to that in states like Nevada and Illinois, which invest a significant portion of their revenue in the rainy day fund or general fund. Advocates of cannabis legalization, many of whom come from low-income communities of color in New York City and other states, argue that the tax on recreational marijuana sold should benefit at least in part to low-income communities of color.
“We appreciate Orecki's proposal for New York which could pay adult users for the proceeds of cannabis sales. However, we respectfully disagree that the revenue should not be used for this particular purpose.
For decades, the failed war on drugs and mass incarceration devastated communities of color. Our priority in legalizing cannabis for adults has always been to correct the damage done to our communities by the unequal enforcement of marijuana prohibition. We must use the proceeds of the sale of cannabis legally to create opportunities for improving communities and creating economic opportunities for those most affected by racial and economic oppression.
One example is Colorado, which has one of the best-established marijuana markets in the United States. According to CBC research, half of the state's revenue from sales goes to school construction and public school aid, and the other half goes to health, substance abuse, and law enforcement. States that have legalized recreational cannabis, such as Colorado and Washington, D.C., have a revenue plan proposed for the people”, said majority leader Peoples-Stokes