New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is embarking on a tour of legal cannabis states to better inform his own plans to reform New York’s marijuana laws.
Gov. Cuomo made the announcement at a press conference in New York City, and said he hopes to learn what did and didn’t work in at least three states which legalized marijuana.
“I also want to make sure [legalization] is done correctly. You look at states that have legalized marijuana, many of them have generated more questions,” Cuomo said. “I’m going to visit Massachusetts, Illinois and California or Colorado, which are three states that have legalized it and have different versions.”
In particular, Cuomo said he wants to discover what lessons have been learned from provisions in legal cannabis legislation aimed at promoting social equity.
“Everybody has goals,” he said. “We want a goal of social equity, we want to make sure young people can’t get it, et cetera. We want to make sure there are advantages to communities that have been oppressed. But then you look at the aftermath and many of those goals haven’t been met, right?”
Cuomo’s administration is also working with other regional state officials to coordinate their cannabis legalization plans. In October, 2019, New York hosted a Regional Cannabis Regulation and Vaping Summit with the governors of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut in attendance, with a view to agreeing on a basic set of principles for legal cannabis markets and to harmonize tax and regulatory approaches to cannabis.
With a combination of regional coordination and input from states that have legal marijuana industries, Cuomo wants New York to have “the best bill and the best system when we pass it, and I want to pass it by April 1.”