New York Governor Again Calls for Cannabis Legalization

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is again calling for cannabis legalization this year, with plans to announce his proposal Jan. 6 as part of his upcoming State of the State agenda, according to the Independent Tribune.

This is Cuomo’s third attempt in three years to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state, the news outlet reported. Last year, Cuomo included a legalization proposal in his state budget, but the plan was ultimately cut in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cuomo’s latest proposal calls for the creation of an Office of Cannabis Management to oversee the medical and adult-use cannabis programs in the state, according to the Independent Tribune, and it would offer licensing opportunities for applicants in communities that have been disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs.

Some lawmakers have criticized the fact that Cuomo’s proposal does not set aside funds to specifically support communities that have suffered from disproportionate cannabis arrests, the news outlet reported. However, the governor’s plan does set aside tax revenue in a fund that is earmarked for encouraging minorities to participate in the industry and public health campaigns, among other efforts, according to the Independent Tribune.

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