Gov. Cuomo signs bill legalizing recreational marijuana for adults in the state
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation legalizing recreational adult-use marijuana in New York.
State legislators voted to legalize marijuana Tuesday.
Gov. Cuomo's signature has made New York the 15th state to allow recreational marijuana.
According to New York state, legal marijuana sales from dispensaries are expected to begin in 2022.
During that time, a system will be established to issue business licenses, while also implementing restrictions.
The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act legalizes the use of recreational marijuana for New Yorkers over the age of 21.
Adults of that age can have up to three ounces of marijuana in their possession.
Eli Northup, an attorney for The Bronx Defenders, says the decision is long overdue.
“If you ever had a conviction for a marijuana offense and that behavior is now legal, that record is automatically expunged,” Northup says. “You don’t have to do anything.”
Officials say legalizing the drug would help the economy and change police enforcement.
Officials say the law will create 60,000 jobs and is estimated to produce over $350 million in tax revenue. He says they are using 40% of that for community grants.
The law will also allow people to grow as many as six plants.