Cuomo Expects Marijuana to be Legal in New York in 2021
Democrats and Republicans in New York State are already forecasting the possible legalization of recreational marijuana across the state soon.
According to News 10 reports, the Republican leaders in the state meet in late December to outline their main objectives for 2021. Sources state that one of the main objectives was to legalize recreational marijuana.
Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R) have hinted at the possible legalization of recreational marijuana this year, after telling WWNY that they are working on it.
According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, this is the right time to legalize recreational marijuana across New York State. Cuomo, a long-term supporter of cannabis legalization believes that the state will legalize recreational marijuana. The tax revenue that will come from marijuana sales will help to boost the state budget. The COVID-19 pandemic has left New York in crisis and legalizing cannabis will help to boost the economy.
During a recent interview with WAMC, Cuomo stated that 2021 will see possible legalization of recreational marijuana because the state desperately needs funding. He also stated that stimulus checks and a new president will not remove New York from the red zone.
Before COVID-19 became a pandemic, Cuomo had promised New Yorkers about the possible legalization of marijuana. He had vowed to legalize marijuana by the end of 2020 to cover the state’s $6 billion budget gap but due to COVID-19 plans changed.
According to Cuomo, marijuana legalization could bring $300 million in tax revenue to New York state every year and this amount could increase as the program becomes fully effective.
In February 2020, Reports from the governor’s office showed that Cuomo wanted recreational cannabis to become legal by April, which is the period of approving the state budget. During that period Cuomo planned on traveling to legal marijuana states such as Massachusetts, Illinois, Colorado, and California to see how lawmakers are successfully managing the legalization of recreational weed in these states. Seeing what had worked in those states will make it easy to legalize weed in New York.
In April 2020, just before the state budget approval, Cuomo acknowledged that there wasn’t a possibility of cannabis becoming legal in 2020. He said cannabis legalization was a very complicated issue and it needed a lot of time and effort. Also, the COVID-19 outbreak meant he didn’t have time to work on cannabis legalization.
In May 2020, New York State lawmakers urged for the legalization of marijuana to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic which is increasing daily.
In October 2020, Gov. Cuomo’s main marijuana advisor, Axel Bernabe, hinted that there will be possible legalization in January 2021.
According to an interview Bernabe had with Canopy Growth, he said that a bill to legalize adult-use cannabis will be part of this year’s state budget, which it could be passed in April.
Bernabe stated that lawmakers are working to reintroduce marijuana legalization in the state budget. He also hinted that this comprehensive bill will be ready by April.