When will weed be legalized in New York?

ON March 31, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a legislation legalizing adult use cannabis in the Empire State.

The move comes after New York state lawmakers approved the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act on March 30, after hours of debate weighing the pros and cons of weed legalization.

When will weed be legalized in New York?

"This is a historic day in New York – one that rights the wrongs of the past by putting an end to harsh prison sentences, embraces an industry that will grow the Empire State's economy.

"And prioritizes marginalized communities so those that have suffered the most will be the first to reap the benefits," Cuomo said in a statement.

The bill, passed by both the Democratic-led Senate and Assembly, removes cannabis from the list of controlled substances and will eventually legalize, tax and regulate recreational pot for adults over 21.

The legislation will also expunges past pot convictions and a large percentage of tax revenue will be set aside for community reinvestment grants and social equity for minorities who have faced harsh penalties for marijuana possession.

New York is now the 15th state to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

New Yorkers will immediately be allowed to possess up to three ounces of cannabis for recreational purposes.

New Yorkers are permitted to smoke cannabis in public wherever smoking tobacco is allowed, though localities and a new state agency could create regulations to more strictly control smoking cannabis in public.

However, smoking weed is not permitted in schools, workplaces or inside a car.

Other facets of the law will be phased in over several months.

How much will the state tax marijuana sales?

New York will set a 9 percent sales tax on weed, plus an additional 4 percent tax split between the county and local government.

The state will also impose an additional tax based on the level of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, ranging from 0.5 cents per milligram for flower to 3 cents per milligram for edibles.

Weed sales won't immediately pop up in New York State, lawmakers estimate that marijuana sales could take up to a year or more to start.

Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes has estimated it could take 18 months to two years for sales to start in the state.

Can you still be arrested for marijuana possession in NY?

Police officers in New York will not be able to arrest or prosecute anyonefor possession under 3 ounces.

However, an officer can still use the odor of burnt cannabis as a reason to suspect a driver is intoxicated.

Although, the officer cannot use that smell alone as justification for searching a car for contraband.

Overtime, individual New Yorkers will eventually be allowed to grow six planets for personal consumption under the legislation, however, they will have to wait until 18 months after the first regulated adult-use sale.

Medical weed patients could start growing sooner – just six months after the bill passes.

The recreational market is expected to eventually generate $350 million in yearly tax revenue and billions of dollars in annual sales.

New businesses and thousands of new jobs are on tap for the cultivation, distribution and sale of the drug.

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