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New York State reaches agreement to legalize recreational marijuana

Marijuana Boom Oklahoma
Posted at 4:13 PM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 23:13:34-04

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York State has reached an agreement to legalize recreational marijuana, according to Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes.

Lawmakers are finalizing a bill that would:

  • Create a new state regulator for cannabis products.
  • Decriminalize the possession of up to three ounces of marijuana.
  • Allow New Yorkers to cultivate marijuana for personal use.
  • NYS will study a new system for determining whether drivers are intoxicated because of marijuana use.

"We’re creating a better society. We're creating a better school system. We're creating a better community where it's just gonna be better for everybody," said Peoples-Stokes.

Zephyr Partners, located in San Diego, is paying close attention to the deal struck in Albany. The company plans on building a cannabis campus in South Buffalo. The facility would create over 500 jobs. The heads of the company say this news is huge.

"This is a major first stop," said Brad Termini of Zephyr Partners. "It's just about as exciting as that Bills going to the AFC championship game."

During a briefing on Wednesday afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state was close to coming to a deal although he referenced the state was close to a deal three years in a row and a deal never happened. The governor also listed the legalization of marijuana for recreational use as one of the top priorities of the state budget Wednesday.

On March 13, Peoples-Stokes said in an interview with 7 Eyewitness News she was confident recreational marijuana would be legalized in New York during this legislative session.

“I'm actually more confident than I have been in the past,” said Peoples-Stokes.

On March 16, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said lawmakers were “extremely close” to legalizing recreational marijuana.

The governor previously said the legalization of marijuana for recreational use would generate about $300 million a year for the state and it would stop what he called “exaggerated injustice” for minorities.

NYS Senator Patrick Gallivan (R - 59th District) previously stated he was not in support of the legalization of recreational marijuana.

“There's no discussion about public health and safety,” Gallivan said in a January 2021 interview with WKBW.

He said a deficit should not be a reason for supporting it.

"No. Not at all and I think we have to deal with public health and safety first. We don't know — there's no science that says smoking marijuana is healthy and smoking is okay and not detrimental to your health and I think that has to come first,” Gallivan explained. "We’ve got people that are advocating for the legalization of recreational simply based on the state having a deficit."

People-Stokes says official passage could come next week.