New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo included a plan to legalize and tax adult-use cannabis in a state budget proposal released Jan. 21.
The move comes after Cuomo pledged in his Jan. 8 State of the State address to legalize cannabis this year.
Cuomo’s proposal would create an Office of Cannabis Management to oversee the state's medical and adult-use cannabis programs, as well as New York’s hemp program, according to The Hill. Adults 21 and older would be able to legally purchase cannabis products at retailers licensed by the new office, and a Global Cannabis and Hemp Center for Science, Research and Education would be created within the State University of New York, according to the news outlet.
The plan also includes a social equity component that aims to correct past harms to individuals and communities that were disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs, The Hill reported.
Cuomo estimates that legalizing adult-use cannabis and including it in the state budget will generate $20 million in 2021 and $63 million in 2022, according to a local WKBW report.
Cuomo first announced his support for legalization in December 2018, when he called on the New York Legislature to pass legislation that would regulate and tax cannabis in the state.
This is the second consecutive year that Cuomo has included a legalization proposal in his state budget. Last year’s plan was ultimately stripped from the budget, and a revised version, called the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, was reintroduced by lawmakers during the 2019 legislative session. The bill ultimately stalled at the end of the session in June.