This legislation would legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana under state law along lines similar to the state’s current system regulating alcohol, and would represent a new approach for New York State after decades of costly, counterproductive policies that have produced racially discriminatory outcomes.
In brief, the bill:
- -Removes penalties for possession of 2 ounces of marijuana or less;
- -Makes 18 the minimum legal age for marijuana possession and consumption;
- -Establishes that smoking marijuana in public and possession of marijuana by persons under the age of 18 are violations;
- -Allows for home cultivation of up to six marijuana plants;
- -Empowers the State Liquor Authority to grant licenses for marijuana production, transport and retail sale;
- -Prohibits sale of marijuana to persons under 21;
- -Allows communities to opt out of retail sale for off-premises consumption through a referendum process similar to what is now in place for alcohol sales;
- -Allows communities to opt in to allow retail sales for on-premises consumption through a vote of the local legislature, in addition to the local c
- -Community board in the case of New York City;
- -Establishes an excise tax of $50.00 per ounce of marijuana, and authorizes localities to charge a sales tax on retail sales; and
- -Directs a portion of the state tax revenue collected to be directed to re-entry programs, substance abuse programs, and job training programs in low-income, high-unemployment communities.