NEW YORK — New Yorkers who have been waiting years for marijuana legalization in the state will face another test of their patience as lawmakers begin the arduous work of setting up the infrastructure of a new regulated market within the confines of social justice and safety measures baked into the law.
While Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation into law on Wednesday, the state needs time to establish regulations as well as a cannabis board that will oversee the recreational market.
Additionally, there’s a provision in the law that allows cities, towns and villages to opt out of allowing retail sales in their area. Local governments have nine months to make that decision.
The law allows recreational sales of marijuana to begin April 1, 2022, however, lawmakers have warned it may take longer to bring the market to scale.
Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, who co-sponsored the legislation, estimated it could take 18 months to two years for legal sales to begin.
A spokesperson for State Sen. Liz Krueger, another bill co-sponsor, hedged the time frame slightly, suggesting New Yorkers could see