Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York presented his plan to legalize recreational marijuana in the state on Tuesday. The governor outlined highlights of his proposal in a written message that was distributed to lawmakers as part of his State of the State address.
Under Cuomo’s plan, a state Office of Cannabis Management would be created to regulate the recreational cannabis industry. The new agency would also be tasked with developing a plan to review and seal past convictions for marijuana offenses.
Cuomo’s plan would include licenses for cannabis cultivators, distributors, and retailers. Marijuana cultivators would not be allowed to own retail dispensaries. A twenty percent state tax and 2 percent local tax would be imposed on transactions from wholesalers to retailers and cultivators would be assessed taxes on a per-gram basis. The governor said that the tax rates of neighboring states were a factor in determining the rates for New York.
“The how is something that we’re talking about right now,” Cuomo said. “I think you have to look at New Jersey and you have to look at Massachusetts. They are natural competitors in the marketplace.”
State taxes in Massachusetts on recreational pot total 17 percent and local governments