ALBANY, N.Y. (AP - Modified) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling for the legalization and regulation of marijuana for recreational use by adults, his third attempt in as many years to get the drug fully legalized in the state.
Cuomo, a Democrat, planned to announce his proposal Wednesday as part of his upcoming State of the State agenda. It calls for the creation of a new Office of Cannabis Management that would oversee recreational use as well as existing medical use.
Cuomo’s latest legalization proposal follows two unsuccessful attempts in 2019 and 2020 to fully legalize marijuana, which both fell short despite Democrats’ 2018 win of both chambers of the Legislature.
During his COVID-19 briefing Wednesday Cuomo said he believes this is the year the proposal will be passed.
"I've supported it, for years I've tried to pass it, but this is a year where we do need the funding and a lot of New Yorkers are struggling so I think this year will give us the momentum to get it over the goal line," said Cuomo.
Statement from New York Cannabis Growers & Processors Association President Allan Gandelman regarding Governor Cuomo’s proposal to legalize adult use cannabis:
“There simply is no more time to wait as New Yorkers have watched other states and now our neighbors legalize adult use cannabis. We have a historic moment to legalize cannabis in a way that brings new opportunities for communities across the state and acts as a catalyst for economic revitalization. Now is the time to establish an equitable, diverse and sustainable cannabis marketplace that prioritizes New York farmers, small businesses and communities impacted by the war on drugs. We thank Governor Andrew Cuomo, Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Senator Liz Krueger for once again making legalization a priority; it is now crucial that we work together to ensure that the Empire State is a global leader in the rapidly growing cannabis industry.”