Marijuana legalization bills could be on the desks of two more governors by the end of this week after negotiators worked out final details in New York and the governor of New Mexico called lawmakers back for a special session.
“I look forward to signing this legislation into law,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said after he and legislative leaders reached a handshake deal on measure that could lead to pot dispensaries opening as soon as next year.
Legalization could create 30,000 to 60,000 new jobs statewide, he said.
The legislation (S.854A /A.1248A) being brought up for Assembly and Senate votes in Albany this week could eventually generate about $350 million a year in special cannabis taxes: a 13% sales tax, with the money raised divided between the state (9%) and localities (4%), plus a distributor excise tax of as much as 3 cents per milligram of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, using a sliding scale based on the type of product and its potency.
Tax revenue would be used to run and oversee the state cannabis program, with the remaining money divided between programs that try to help people rebuild their lives after marijuana possession arrests, aid for their neighborhoods, education,