New York’s New Governor Wants Legal Weed in Stores ASAP

New York’s new governor, Democrat Andrew Cuomo, has made legalizing weed in stores his first priority. He wants to make the state the first to do this and is looking into how it would work with existing laws.

New York is the first state to legalize weed. The new governor wants to make it available in stores ASAP.


Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, has taken over as Governor of New York, succeeding Andrew Cuomo. She’s the first woman to ever occupy the position in that state, and she’s bringing a lot of change with her. One of them, according to Governor Hochul, is ensuring that individuals may get adult-use recreational marijuana as quickly as feasible.

The Governor said on Twitter, “It’s time to finally legalize recreational marijuana and establish an equitable adult-use cannabis program that produces much-needed money for New York.”

Cuomo was in charge of marijuana sales regulation while Hochul was Lieutenant Governor before ascending to the Governorship. It’s now under her control.

In a press release, the Governor’s Office said, “The Cannabis Control Board and Office of Cannabis Management will design and execute a complete regulatory framework for New York’s cannabis sector, including the manufacturing, licensing, packaging, marketing, and sale of cannabis products.”

What’s the big deal?

Adults 21 and older in New York are now permitted to possess up to three ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of cannabis concentrate. That’s due to legislation approved in March, which made New York the 15th state in the country to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Governor Cuomo said when the legislation was enacted that he did not anticipate dispensaries to operate for at least a year.

In New York City, you may smoke marijuana wherever you can smoke tobacco, except in a vehicle. The issue is that there aren’t any marijuana shops open yet.

To do so, the Cannabis Control Board and Office of Cannabis Management must set up shop and begin issuing licenses and establishing rules. Appointing members of the Board of Directors and selecting a new executive director of Cannabis Management are at the top of Governor Hochul’s priority list. She also believes that such selections should be reflective of communities throughout the state, rather than simply people who match a certain profile.

After they are selected, they must go through a Senate confirmation procedure. That’s where the previous governor got stuck, unable to go ahead with appointments that are required to move forward with every stage of the legal marijuana process, from growing to sales.

Tremaine Wright was named Chair of the state’s Cannabis Control Board by Governor Hochul. The nomination has already been confirmed by the New York Senate. Wright is now the Director of the Department of Financial Services’ Statewide Office of Financial Inclusion and Empowerment, the first person to occupy that position. She was also a member of the Brooklyn 56th Assembly District in New York. Wright has spent her career empowering and providing opportunities for her community, which she will be able to continue in her new role, according to the Governor’s Office. The legalization of marijuana in New York focuses on improving areas that have been harmed by the War on Drugs.

Christopher Alexander has been named Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management, and the Senate has also approved him. Alexander formerly worked for the New York State Democratic Party and the Drug Policy Alliance as a Policy Coordinator. He also worked for the New York State Senate as Counsel, where he was in charge of the state’s criminal justice system.

“Getting New York’s cannabis industry up and running has been long overdue, but with the Senate confirmation of Tremaine Wright as Chair of the Cannabis Control Board and Christopher Alexander as Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management, we’re going to make up for lost time,” Governor Hochul said. “These two individuals bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their new positions, and I am confident that they will do an outstanding job of drafting and enacting regulations that are safe, fair, and transparent, and that recognize the need to address the negative effects of prohibition on communities of color. I’m excited to collaborate with them on growing our state’s cannabis sector and bringing meaningful change to New Yorkers.”


New York authorities estimate that marijuana sales may generate $350 million in annual tax income for the state’s Cannabis Revenue Fund. This is due to a 13 percent sales excise tax, with 9 percent going to the state and 4 percent to municipal governments. There is also a wholesale tax depending on potency, but it is far lower — one penny per milligram for edibles, 0.15 cents for cannabis concentrate, and 0.5 cents for marijuana flower.

Experts estimate that the cannabis business may generate $4.2 billion in revenue and 60,000 new employment in the state over time. After the program has been paid for, the leftover funds will be distributed as follows:

  • 40% of the profits are donated to education.
  • The Community Grants Reinvestment Fund receives 40% of the proceeds.
  • The Drug Treatment and Public Education Fund receives 20% of the proceeds.

Governor Hochul, who is he?

Kathy Hochul is the 57th Governor of New York. She was the co-chair of Current York’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force during her six years as Liutenant Governor before taking on her new role. That committee listened to professionals and people of the community in order to get a better understanding of the opioid epidemic and develop a plan to combat it.

Hochul formerly served in the United States House of Representatives representing the 26th Congressional District of New York from 2011 to 2013. Her emphasis at the time, according to the Governor’s website, was on job development. She seems to care about it nonetheless, since one of her major motivations for getting the cannabis business up and going is that she thinks it would create a lot of jobs in the state.

Hochul served as Erie County Clerk from 2007 until 2011. Kathleen Mary House, which she founded with her mother and aunt a year earlier, was a transitional shelter for domestic abuse victims. She was also a member of the Hamburg Board of Directors for 14 years. Syracuse University awarded her a bachelor’s degree, and Catholic University in Washington, D.C. awarded her a law degree.

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