Gov. Cuomo signs bill legalizing adult use of cannabis into law

Around New York State

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Gov. Cuomo has signed legislation legalizing adult use of cannabis in the state.

It’s not entirely clear how much marijuana a person can have in their home, but it must be kept in a secure location away from children.

Outside of their home, people can possess up to three ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of cannabis concentrate.

Growing at home is a little more complicated. People aren’t allowed to grow their own marijuana plants until 18 months after the first adult-use sales for recreational marijuana begin.

Once it’s allowed, a person who’s at least 21 will be able to grow up to three mature plants and three immature plants at a time. There will be a limit of six mature plants and six immature plants per household.

In addition to legalizing it, the legislation establishes the Office of Cannabis Management, expands the state’s medical marijuana program and establishes a licensing system.

In all, Gov. Cuomo says this is projected to bring in $350 million in tax revenue each year and potentially create 30,000 to 60,000 jobs.

All tax revenue from cannabis will go into the the state’s cannabis revenue fund. In addition to covering the costs of program administration and implementation of the law, here’s how the rest of the money will be used:

  • Education: 40 percent
  • Community Grants Reinvestment Fund: 40 percent
  • Drug Treatment and Public Education Fund: 20 percent

“This legislation is a momentous first step in addressing the racial disparities caused by the war on drugs that has plagued our state for too long. This effort was years in the making and we have finally achieved what many thought was impossible, a bill that legalizes marijuana while standing up for social equity, enhancing education and protecting public safety.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins

According to Cuomo’s office, the new law “creates automatic expungement or resentencing for anyone with a previous marijuana conviction that would now be legal under the law.”

The news of Cuomo signing the bill comes a day after state lawmakers voted to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults.

MORE | NY lawmakers vote yes on legal marijuana

Cuomo’s office says municipalities may opt out of allowing adult use cannabis retail dispensaries or on-site consumption licenses. To do so, they must pass a local law by December 31.

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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