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Will 2021 finally be the year for cannabis legalization in New York?

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2021 | Business Law

Talks surrounding controlled cannabis legalization in New York have been marked by successive starts and stalls over the past couple years.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo believes that discussions are now on the cusp of being energetically renewed, as well as pursued with a progressively bipartisan and reformist thrust.

This time around, states Cuomo, “I think it’s going to be an easier conversation.”

Not that it was overly combative or ridden with controversy over the just-concluded year. In fact, the state’s Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act reformist legislation has commanded generally broad support across widely varied demographics, including lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle.  We noted in a blog post from August 10 last year that the MRTA has consistently “commanded both momentum and broad-based support.”

But then there is Covid-19, of course, and its notably stalling effect on virtually every new idea or initiative. We underscored in the above-cited blog the pandemic-linked “dent in marijuana’s controlled legalization and projected timetable.”

Such matters are again on the proverbial front burner, as noted by an in-depth article on cannabis legalization prospects for 2021. The publication Marijuana Moment states that 2021 “seems to be shaping up to be a more productive year for enacting policy change.”

Cuomo certainly thinks it will be. He and like thinkers cite strong evidence pointing to the sizable infusion of tax dollars from cannabis sales that can be applied to various state programs and to offset shortfalls tied to pandemic challenges. Reform activists additionally spotlight the solidly positive impact that the MRTA’s full implementation is slated to have on business creation and prosperity.

“Pressure will be on” to legalize cannabis quickly, Cuomo states.

Key details concerning taxes and the allocation of cannabis revenue reportedly remain on the negotiating table.