Gov. Cuomo Looks to Cannabis Legalization as a Source of Jobs and Revenue

Gov. Cuomo Looks to Cannabis Legalization as a Source of Jobs and Revenue

By Yehudit Garmaise

    “We must plan for Post-COVID economic opportunities,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today in his State of the State address. “We need to jumpstart the economy now.”

   New York state is contending with a $15 billion budget gap created entirely by the pandemic, the governor said.

     Among opportunities for economic growth identified by the governor’s Reimagine New York Commission are workforce retraining in the growing fields of tele-medicine and broadband, which provides high-speed Internet.

   In addition, Gov. Cuomo said that New York will begin “the most aggressive construction and transportation development program in the U.S.” with new systems for new air, roads, and rail systems.

   Although the governor looks to the future for innovative industries to create jobs and revenue, he also announced today that he “will legalize adult-use recreational cannabis, joining 15 other states who have done so.”

   Cannabis legalization, according to the governor, “will create more than 60,000 new jobs, spur $3.5 billion in economic activity and generate more than $300 million in tax revenue when fully implemented.”

     The governor said that he is legalizing cannabis to “to raise revenue and to end the overcriminalization of this product that has left so many communities of color over-policed and over-incarcerated.”

   Gov. Cuomo wants to further “help” “entrepreneurs in communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs,” by offering them “licensing opportunities and assistance” to set up shops for the “adult-use market” of cannabis.

(Don Pollard / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

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