BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — As we move into 2022, 7 Eyewitness News is breaking down some new New York State laws that will impact you and your family. Here's what's changing as the clock strikes midnight and throughout the year:
New marijuana legislation:
This may be one of the biggest changes in 2022. New York State has approved the sale of marijuana. Communities across the state have until the end of 2021 to opt in or out of allowing retail sites and/or consumption sites. Areas that don't make a decision will be automatically opted in, and only places that opt in will get a cut of the tax revenue. It's expected to be a big business for areas that take part.
"I don't know of any community where they've opened a dispensary- and people know about it being open for adult use, that there were not lines around that facility when it was open," said NYS Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes
Right now it's legal to posses marijuana in New York. Eventually, you'll be able to buy it from dispensaries. That won't happen once the clock strikes midnight, however. A control board was recently appointed by Governor Hochul, and The Office of Cannabis Management will oversee the licensing, production, sale and distribution of marijuana in the state, which will take time to set up.
"I think some of this could be ready by the spring," explained Peoples-Stokes. "This will be a very litigious piece of policy. There's always going to be some legal question about it."
Are you getting married?
This next law could impact you if you plan to rent a limo for your big day.
Starting in 2022, all stretch limos in New York State need to have a seatbelt in the back for every passenger.
If not, they won't be allowed on the road.
Do you have a dog? What breed is it?
Did you know that insurance companies have been able to charge more for your homeowners insurance based on the breed of dog you own?
It's typically impacted people who own Pit Bulls, Rotweillers and German Shepherds, and some people have actually had to surrender their dogs because they couldn't afford higher rates. That changes in 2022.
"What this will do is it will say to insurance companies, you can no longer say to the homeowner, 'we're not going to insure you or we're going to raise your rates if you want to keep that dog. So the choice is get rid of the dog or pay higher premiums,'" explained Libby Post from the NYS Animal Protection Federation.
Post went on to say that in 2022, the NYS Animal Protection Federation is hoping to have similar legislation pass for renters.
Are you a fan of sports?
Get ready to place your bets! Mobile sports betting becomes legal in New York this year.
So far, nine mobile sports books will be allowed to launch in the state, but they're still setting up framework. Experts say we could see some launch before the Super Bowl in mid February.