New York To Legalize Marijuana In 2021, Top Cuomo Advisor Says
A top New York official says New York will legalize recreational weed early next year.
Axel Bernabe, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's top marijuana advisor, said in an interview with Canopy Growth Corp.’s David Culver that Cuomo will once again introduce a bill to legalize marijuana in New York State in January 2021.
Bernabe told Culver a bill to legalize cannabis will be included in the state budget in January 2021, which is expected to be passed in April.
"We’re working on this. We’re going to reintroduce this in our budget in January. We think we can get it done by April 1,” Bernabe said when speaking of New York legalizing marijuana. "We are really focused with a compressive bill. We are really proud of that bill."
In January 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic, Cuomo promised New Yorkers legal marijuana is coming real soon. He pledged in his State of the State Address to legalize marijuana in New York State by the end of 2020 to help the state deal with a $6 billion budget gap.
Cuomo previously said legalizing marijuana could bring $300 million in tax revenue to the state every year and billions more once the program is fully running.
In February, according to the governor's office, Cuomo hoped to see marijuana legalized in New York for adult use by April, which is when the state budget had to be approved. At the time, he announced plans to travel to Massachusetts, Illinois, Colorado and California to see what has worked in those states that legalized weed and what hasn't worked in hopes of getting it right in New York.
In early April, just before the budget was approved, he said it wasn't likely that marijuana would be legalized in 2020. He said legalizing the drug was one of the most complicated issues he has faced and he didn't have the time to work on legalizing marijuana as he dealt with the outbreak of COVID-19.
In May, New York State lawmakers pushed for marijuana to be legalized to help the state deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state of Oregon made a record-breaking $89 million in marijuana sales in April 2020, which marked the second-straight month Oregon record marijuana sales, according to KGW8.