The road to marijuana legalization in New York has been long, and according to state Governor Andrew Cuomo, it likely won’t end this year. As the budget deadline rapidly approached with no concession on how to close a $15 billion budget gap, Cuomo stated that marijuana isn’t going to be part of the state’s budget this year. This is the second year in a row New York legislators have removed marijuana legalization from the state budget.
When asked about the chances of including marijuana legalization in the annual budget during his daily Coronavirus briefing, the governor stated that it is not likely, adding that there is ‘too much’ to do and ‘too little time’ to do it.
At the moment, the state of New York is the epicenter of the U.S. Coronavirus outbreak. The state has reported at least 80,000 confirmed Coronavirus cases and more than 1,900 deaths. More than 45,000 of those cases are in New York City, and the city has suffered 1,374 casualties.
The pandemic has thrown the entire world into lockdown mode. The virus which first appeared in Wuhan, China in late 2019 has infected over 800,000 individuals worldwide and claimed over 40,000 lives. To curb the spread, most governments have implemented lockdowns, advising people to stay home unless they have to get essentials like food and medicine and shutting down all but the most essential businesses. This, coupled with the immense strain the pandemic has put on healthcare systems has had adverse effects on the economy.
Quite recently, there have been talks of kick-starting New York’s economy after the virus runs its course by legalizing marijuana. States like Colorado and California have earned millions in tax revenue from marijuana sales. Legalizing marijuana would have provided tax revenue and much-needed jobs for the state, but Governor Cuomo’s pronouncement has put a damper on those hopes.
“We’re not going to get there. I don’t believe we’ll get there because in truth, that is something that had to be talked through and worked through, and the legislature wasn’t here,” said the Governor. “That is not a yes or no. That’s a, how does it work. How about the police? Who gives out the licenses? How do you do minority empowerment? How do we coordinate with Connecticut and New Jersey? And no one has really had the time to work those things through. So I don’t think we’ll get there on that.”
This news of yet another delay in giving New Yorkers the opportunity to benefit from marijuana legalization is likely to disappoint the entire cannabis industry, including entities like Champignon Brands Inc. (CSE: SHRM) (OTC: SHRMF) (FWB: 496), who would like all people across the country to have the option of consuming marijuana legally.
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