ALBANY, N.Y.—New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill on Wednesday to legalize recreational marijuana for adults, paving the way for retail sales in the state to begin in 2022.
The possession of up to 3 ounces of marijuana was immediately legalized for people 21 and over, but proponents of the legislation said it would likely take until next year for the state to finalize regulations for retail sales. New Yorkers will also eventually be able to legally grow their own marijuana for personal use.
Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat in his third term, signed the bill after it was approved by the state Assembly and Senate on Tuesday evening. The governor announced his support for legalizing recreational marijuana in 2018, but disputes about how to structure the legal market and spend related tax revenue held up earlier legislation.
“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,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement on Wednesday.
New York becomes the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, signed a bill in February legalizing and regulating cannabis use and possession in that state.
Source: WSJ – US News