New York marijuana proponents are hopeful about an eleventh-hour effort to legalize a billion-dollar-plus recreational market before the legislative session’s scheduled end on Wednesday.
Lawmakers are making progress on a potential Senate-backed compromise that could be voted on before adjournment, the New York Post and other media reported.
“We’re going to try,” Sen. Liz Krueger, the sponsor of the Senate’s legalization bill, said on public radio last week. “We’ll see whether we can actually get this done.”
In the past, there have been disagreements about the regulatory details, social-equity provisions, and whether the bill should include language expunging past low-level marijuana convictions.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, inserted his plan to regulate legal marijuana in his state budget proposal, only to remove it when lawmakers couldn’t agree on the details.
As recently as early June, Cuomo called passage this year unlikely; meanwhile, lawmakers have accused him of not doing enough to get the measure passed.
Many lawmakers began the session in January predicting that efforts to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana for adults would dominate the session.
That didn’t happen, as supporters and advocates had to fight to keep the issue on the Legislature’s front burner.
Then a legalization effort fell flat in neighboring New Jersey, sapping some of the momentum in New York.
– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily