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Marijuana could be legal in New York by the end of 2019, but it could take years to implement

Posted at 1:47 AM, Jan 14, 2019

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Efforts to legalize marijuana for recreational use in New York are gaining steam and Gov. Andrew Cuomo predicts a bill will pass this year. But don't expect to see pot shops opening up from Brooklyn to Buffalo anytime soon.

That's because while there's broad agreement on the idea of legalization, there's no consensus on a long list of details that must be figured out first.

Taxes and regulations must be approved. A process for licensing retailers must be created. A new government entity may have to be formed. Local governments will have to be brought in.

Even after a bill passes, it could take a year or more for any pot shops to open, based on what's happened in other states and New York's own experience with medical marijuana.