Late last night the current version of the proposed law, aka the MRTA, was released to the public. This version has the support of both legislative chambers and Governor Cuomo after years of negotiations. A vote and signature from the Governor are expected this week.
Senator Liz Krueger and Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes were the respective sponsors of the bill which have dozens of co-sponsors. Their strong leadership will certainly be remembered as the force behind the insistence on key measures.
” I am very proud to say that we finally have a three-way agreed bill (S.854-A) to legalize adult-use cannabis in New York State in a way that foregrounds racial justice, while balancing safety with economic growth, encouraging new small businesses, and significantly diminishing the illegal market. ” -Senator Liz Krueger
In case you don’t want to read the full bill, here are the main provisions that put New York on the leading edge of personal freedom and social justice:
- Dedicating 40% of revenue to reinvestment in communities disproportionately impacted by the drug war, with 40% to schools and public education, and 20% to drug treatment, prevention and education.
- New Yorker over 21 years of age will be permitted to grow up to 6 plants at home.
- Equity programs providing loans, grants, and incubator programs to ensure broad opportunities for participation in the new legal industry by people from disproportionately impacted communities as well as by small farmers.
- A goal of 50% of licenses going to equity applicants.
- Elimination of penalties for possession of less than three ounces of cannabis.
- Automatic expungement of records for people with previous convictions for activities that are no longer criminalized.
- Establishment of a well-regulated industry to ensure consumers know exactly what they are getting when they purchase cannabis.