After reaching an agreement earlier this month, the New York State legislature passed legislation last night and Andrew Cuomo signed it today making recreational marijuana officially legal in the Empire State.
Past disagreements between lawmakers over how tax revenue from the sale of cannabis would be sent were resolved with forty percent of revenue being earmarked for communities where people of color have been disproportionately affected by marijuana charges.
A few parts of the law are going into effect immediately: Individuals in New York are now able to possess up to three ounces of cannabis for recreational purposes or 24 grams of concentrated forms like oils.
Many of the larger structural changes, however, will be implemented over the coming months. Eventually, once the infrastructure is developed, New Yorkers will be able to have cannabis delivered, will be able to cultivate up to six plants in their homes and will even be able to use it at prescribed “consumption sites.”
It will be more than a year until dispensaries are able to open in the state. New York follows its neighbor to the south in New Jersey in legalizing marijuana this year and hopes to generate up to $350 million additional dollars in tax revenue from sales at a time when the government sorely needs it.