cuomo legalize cannabis

Don’t Let the Screen Door Hit You on the Way Out…

Governor Cuomo unveiled his proposed budget (page 200 of this link) which includes a recreational marijuana law called the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act.

For those who are invested in the big marijuana companies it is disappointing but small businesses will be happy (except New York is the least friendly state to business in the nation).

For the companies who have invested in New York for the Governor’s Medical Marijuana plan, he is thanking them with taking away their ability to expand into recreational marijuana and allowing medical marijuana patients to grow their own – a double whammy likely to make NY a disaster for them.  The three tier distribution model according to the governor’s speech will make sure the licenses don’t just go to the dreaded rich people.  He is dreaming of Washington and Sandra Lee will be the next Dolly Madison. 

Call Your Legislators – Tell Them You Want Real Jobs

Cue the lobbyists and legislators to start negotiating this turkey.  Contact your state legislators now – there is still time to correct this turkey.  There are lots of bombs in the Governor’s proposed budget that the legislators don’t like so there will be lots of horse trading.  Make sure the legislators know what you think so they can get it on the table.

Another Bomb Against Vertically Integrated Companies

 Jobs in the industry are required to be union jobs.  ‘Nuff said. 

Cuomo’s Plan for Legalizing Marijuana in New York also Does the Following:

  • A three-tier distribution model for the recreational market, in which the state would issue separate licenses for producers, distributors and retailers, and bar producers from also owning retail outlets. While similar to the market for alcohol, it differs from the vertical integration model currently used by the state’s medical marijuana industry, in which a registered organization is allowed to control the process from seed to sale.  This would eliminate New York’s medical marijuana providers from this industry.
  • The proposed program would limit the number of producers and retail dispensaries to guard against a market collapse, encourage equity through craft growers and cooperatives, and provide technical assistance, training and incubators to enable communities hit hard by the war on drugs to participate.
  • The governor’s plan will not allow New Yorkers to grow their own marijuana for recreational use. It will, however, allow home grow for medical use — a provision many advocates say is necessary to ensure access given the high cost of products in stores and lack of insurance coverage.
  • Restricts access to anyone under 21.
  • Automatically seals marijuana offenses on a person’s criminal record.
  • Imposes three taxes on the adult-use of marijuana, which together would generate roughly $300 million in new revenues for the state by the program’s third year.
    • The first tax would be on the cultivation of cannabis at a rate of $1 per dry weight gram of cannabis flower and $0.25 per dry weight gram of cannabis trim.
    • The second would be on the sale by a wholesaler to a retail dispensary at a rate of 20 percent of the invoice price.
    • The third would be imposed on the same sale at 2 percent of the invoice price, but collected in trust for the county in which the retail dispensary is located.
  • Counties and large cities would be allowed to “opt out” of the retail industry by passing local laws that prohibit marijuana shops from opening within their jurisdictions.
  • Revenues from the state taxes would go toward administering a regulated cannabis program; data gathering, monitoring and reporting; a traffic safety committee; small business development and loans; substance abuse, harm reduction and mental health treatment and prevention; public health education and intervention; research on cannabis uses and applications; and program evaluation and improvements.
  • The bill would create a new Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) within the Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control, centralizing all the licensing, enforcement and economic development functions into one entity.
  • The OCM would administer all licensing, production, and distribution of cannabis products in the adult-use, industrial and medical cannabis markets.

President Cuomo?

Let’s hope the business community is heard here and the proposed law is changed.  The governor’s amendments to his own budget is due within 30 days of the day he issued his budget, so we’ll know if he is listening to constituents on this matter by February 14.  He’ll probably semi-propose to Sandra Lee on that day too.  I am pretty convinced that the only reason a savvy entrepreneur like her is with this buffoon is because she wants to be First Lady.   His budget is so all encompassing it’s panful to read.  He is going to save the country from Trump, save the world from Global Warming, save the people from ourselves and medicate us with marijuana.  Just to name a few.  

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