After much expectation, the complete language of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s marijuana decriminalization proposal was unveiled last week as part of his 2021 budget.
The measure has received mixed opinions from cannabis stakeholders and advocates. Although most folks have appreciated the effort, some are dissatisfied with the reform’s provisions associated with regulatory control and social equity and the continued home cultivation prohibitions. Also, the reform lacks permit categories for on-site use and delivery services
Although Andrew has disclosed various insights into the authorization plan during recent weeks, this is the first instance where the particular legislative text is available. The governor has tried twice to implement the reform in the previous budget, but it has stalled due to disagreements about details.
The legislators and administration are positive that the bill will be implemented this time, especially after the neighbouring New Jersey enacted a similar bill.
However, according to the feedback from activists, there will be more efforts to update Cuomo’s proposal.
The main elements of the governor’s proposal include:
- Medical marijuana patients and recreational consumers won’t have any home grow permits.
- On Tuesday, the budget director and the governor proposed a new reform apportioning USD100-million in marijuana tax returns for cushioning communities mostly affected by illegalization.
- In regards to federal control, municipalities with 100,000 residents or more can choose to opt out of legalizing cannabis ventures to run in this location. These municipalities can opt-out before the end of this year.
- The bill illegalizes vertical integration for recreational marijuana businesses, thus preventing them against gaining ownership of all products from manufacture to sales.
- The governor is proposing three forms of taxes on adult-use marijuana products; one dependent on THC levels to be attached on wholesale products, 10.25% surcharge tax at the buyer’s purchase point and applicable federal and national state taxes.