This week, Governor Cuomo took another step towards legalizing adult marijuana in New York State by releasing an amended version of his recreational marijuana proposal. The amended proposal comes a week before administrative officials testify at a joint hearing on the state budget’s tax proposals.
The highlights of the amended proposal include:
- $ 100 million Social Equity Fund. The proposal provides $ 100 million in revenue to set up a social equity fund managed by Empire State Development Corporation. Qualified not-for-profit organizations and local governments can apply for funding to revitalize the communities hardest hit by the war on drugs (i.e., support employment and skills services, adult education, mental health, treatment of substance use disorders). Housing, nutritional advice, child care, etc.).
- Delivery service. The amended proposal approves the use of delivery services (such as UberEats, GrubHub) for cannabis products, which Cuomo says will expand access to this new industry and create opportunities within this new industry. Local governments have the option of deactivating the use of delivery services.
- Reduction of criminal penalties. The amended proposal will reduce criminal penalties for the illegal sale of marijuana. For example, the amended proposal reduces the penalty for selling marijuana to anyone under the age of 21 from a crime to an offense.