There is less than a month left in the legislative session in Albany, but supporters of marijuana legalization say there is still time for New York to become the second state to legalize recreational use through legislation rather than a referendum. Last week Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes was putting the finishing touches on an updated version of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, known as MRTA, that she and state Sen. Liz Krueger of Manhattan have sponsored several times over the years.
The bill, which was introduced last Friday, will include elements from the plan Gov. Andrew Cuomo provided in his January budget, including the creation of an Office of Cannabis Management to oversee the new industry as well as the state’s medical marijuana program and production of hemp extracts such as CBD. It will keep provisions from the original MRTA for using tax revenue from cannabis sales to support business development in the industry for individuals and communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. Although it