New York passes bill to legalise marijuana, becoming 15th US state to do so

New York passes bill to legalise marijuana, becoming 15th US state to do so

The new agreement will impose a 13 per cent sales tax on cannabis sales.

Lawmakers in New York state passed a bill to legalise adult use of marijuana on Tuesday, making it the 15th US state to allow recreational use of pot. Governor Andrew Cuomo said that he intends to sign the bill into law.

"New York has a storied history of being the progressive capital of the nation, and this important legislation will once again carry on that legacy," Cuomo said in a statement.

The bill was passed in New York Senate with 40-23 votes. The Assembly had passed it by 100-49. According to the governor’s office, the legalisation could bring in $350 million annually after full implementation. A deal is close to being finalised, as reported by The New York Times earlier.

According to NYT, a large part of this money will be used for “equity” programmes and provide loans, and grants, especially to those who were disproportionately affected by the criminalisation of marijuana. Once passed, the possession of less than three ounces of marijuana will be allowed, and previous offences against people will be dropped.

The new agreement will impose a 13 per cent sales tax on cannabis sales. Out of this, 9 per cent will be meant for state use, while 4 per cent would go to localities.

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The Wall Street Journal reported that the state intends to create an “Office of Cannabis Management” to provide licenses.

Those aged 21 and above will be allowed to use marijuana, and delivery of the drug will be allowed. In addition, the state will allow the establishment of cannabis clubs. People will also be allowed to grow their own marijuana with over six plants allowed for personal use.

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