In his state of the state address, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) promised to legalize REC this year.
New York Times
- He said the potential $300M in tax revenue would help to fill the state’s $6B budget gap, and proposed that the state university system become a cannabis research hub.
- Cuomo said he would co-ordinate the effort with bordering states New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, though he said New York would not wait for them. (New Jersey is expected to have a REC ballot initiative in November.)
- “The federal government failed Americans with opioids,” Cuomo said. “We cannot allow that to happen with cannabinoids.”
- There are likely to be questions about where the taxes will go. And conservative Democrats on Long Island may still be hold-outs.
In other state news:
- Among lawmakers, there’s a new push to create a regulated industry in Vermont, where REC is already legal.
- New Jersey’s REC vote is likely to spur big spending by advocacy groups.
- Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) opposes REC legalization.
Cincinnati Public Radio
- Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) said she’s open to REC legalization but will prioritize MED.
- A MED initiative qualified for the Mississippi ballot.
- Alabama’s Attorney General opposes MED legalization.
- MED and REC ballot initiatives qualified for the South Dakota ballot.
- Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said he will push for decriminalization.
- Several companies are suing Michigan over Detroit’s decision to temporarily opt out of issuing REC licenses.