June 29, 2022

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WNY leaders react to deal legalizing recreational marijuana for adult-use only

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A state tax of 9% and a local tax of 4% would have significant tax implications that would be shared by counties and municipalities.

NIAGARA FALLS, NY – After years of conversation and failed attempts, there appears to be nothing in Albany that can slow down a deal to legalize recreational marijuana.

“I’m actually happy with what I’ve seen on the bill so far,” said Erie County’s District Attorney John Flynn.

He was deeply concerned about the impact legalization could have on our roads and drivers under the influence. Many law enforcement officials were concerned about the legalization of marijuana and what it would mean.

“From a driving standpoint that has been close to my heart all along, it appears that driving while under the influence of marijuana is still an offense, so that’s a good thing,” Flynn said.

The deal agreed in Albany creates a licensing system for producers, dealers and retail outlets.

A newly created cannabis management office would enforce marijuana regulations.

Adults could legally own up to three ounces of marijuana outside of their home.

Recreational users would have to wait up to 18 months after opening the first pharmacy to grow their own home. Growing medical marijuana at home would be allowed.

And there would be significant tax implications: a state tax of 9 percent and a local tax of 4 percent that would be shared by counties and municipalities.

“We’re going to work with the legislature in Buffalo City, work with the community, and make sure the money goes to low-income communities,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

The tax revenue would be used for education, community grants, and drug treatment.

“It could be a combination of infrastructure, community program, and potentially universal basic income,” Brown said.

In the past, the governor was opposed to both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana, but he has moved on with legalization and now, with regard to recreational marijuana, says, “Legalizing adult cannabis is not just about creating a new market to create that creates jobs and benefits Business is also about equity for long-marginalized communities, “Cuomo said in a statement.

The state health department issued a report that the benefits of recreational marijuana outweigh the risks.

The bill is being written to take effect immediately, but there are parts that would begin soon and other parts that will take many months.

Here’s the schedule: low marijuana convictions will soon be overturned. Cities and municipalities can refuse to allow retail stores in their neighborhood until the end of the year. Congregation majority leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes says the state’s marijuana market is not expected to be ready until 2023.

The state plans to generate millions in revenue from recreational marijuana and create thousands of jobs.

And here’s something to remember: Marijuana is still illegal on federal properties, such as at border crossings. Medical marijuana is also banned nationwide.

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