New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a proposal on Wednesday to legalize adult-use cannabis in the Empire State, which could add a much-needed source of tax revenue amid the financial devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan was announced as part of Cuomo's annual State of the State address.
"Not only will legalizing and regulating the adult-use cannabis market provide the opportunity to generate much-needed revenue, but it also allows us to directly support the individuals and communities that have been most harmed by decades of cannabis prohibition," Cuomo said in a statement.
The plan emerged just one day after state lawmakers prefiled their own legalization bill, which is identical to a version that did not pass last year, Marijuana Moment reported.
A press release from the governor about the proposal was scant on details, but for now, the plan includes the creation of a new Office of Cannabis Management to oversee New York's adult-use program, as well as existing medical and hemp programs. It called for the creation of "an equitable structure" for the new market that offers "licensing opportunities and assistance to entrepreneurs in communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs."