New York state lawmakers released legislation Saturday that would legalize recreational marijuana, revealing the fine print of the agreement they negotiated with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The measure (S.854A /A.1248A), which would let retail dispensaries open as soon as next year, includes a 13% sales tax, of which 9% would go to the state and 4% to localities.
- The state Senate and Assembly could vote in a matter of days, sending the legislation to Cuomo (D).
- Distributors would collect an excise tax based on potency measured by the amount of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, according to the bill. Raw flower would be taxed at 0.5 cents per milligram of THC, cannabis concentrate at 0.8 cents per milligram, and edibles at 3 cents per milligram.
- Tax revenue would be used to run and oversee the state cannabis program, and 40% of the money left over would be directed to programs that try to help people rebuild their lives after marijuana possession arrests, plus aid for their neighborhoods. Another 40% would be earmarked for education, and 20% would go to a Drug Treatment and Public Education Fund.
To contact the reporter on this story: Keshia Clukey in Albany, N.Y. at firstname.lastname@example.org