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420 with CNW — Growing Budget Deficit Could Force New York to Legalize Recreational Cannabis

In the last two years, the debate over the legalization of cannabis for adult use has dragged on in New York State. However, this may take a turn for the better next year as the state’s legislature goes back to Albany, despite the Democrats being divided on various aspects on the issue, which may make negotiations a tad bit difficult.

The main concern seems to be how the state will utilize the revenue generated from the recreational-use cannabis industry. According to forecasts from the state, the cannabis industry is expected to generate roughly $300 million each year once the industry stabilizes. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which is supported by some Democrats in the legislature, would ensure that half of the revenue generated is set aside and invested in the communities that had drug laws by the state enforced at higher rates.

The bill is sponsored by the chair of the Finance Committee, state senator Liz Krueger, and Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, D-Erie. Krueger stated that the individuals she has been working with are committed to this model and believe that revenue should be utilized for social justice purposes, because it would support communities of color that had been greatly affected by the drug wars.

Data from the state shows that, historically, in the city of New York, people of color are arrested more often for cannabis possession when compared to their white counterparts. According to the “Times Union,” this is also true for cities such as Albany. Clauses in the proposal stated that the state would develop a fund whose purpose would be to provide grants for local government entities and community-based NGOs that support those communities’ needs, including legal services and job placement.

While Democrats agree with the idea broadly, they disagree on a few minor details. Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced a Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act in 2019, which highlights similar issues such as the MRTA. However, it doesn’t set aside a specific amount of funds to be allocated to communities affected by the war on drugs. This has become a bone of contention for the legislature.

Apart from this, other issues include the different tax rates set for consumers in the marijuana market, with the legislature bill setting the rate at 18% and Cuomo’s legislation creating a 20% tax for consumers.

In addition to this, legislators can’t agree on whether to allow consumers to cultivate their own cannabis plants at home and, if so, how this would be regulated. Cuomo’s plan does not allow this option while Krueger’s does.

Road safety is also another issue, seeing as there’s no easy way to test whether an individual is driving under the influence of cannabis.

Away from the legalization debates in New York, Arizona-based The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (CSE: WTER) (NASDAQ: WTER) is carving out a name for itself as the maker of the best pH-balanced alkaline drinking water. In additions, its CBD-infused products are very popular.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (NASDAQ: WTER) (CSE: WTER) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://cnw.fm/WTER

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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