Legalizing marijuana in New York won’t be happening soon.
As the final agreement on a state budget comes into form, legalizing pot won’t make the cut, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders said.
Cuomo proposed a plan to tax and regulate marijuana as part of the budget for the fiscal year that starts Monday.
But Cuomo and lawmakers indicated in recent weeks that it was increasingly unlikely a deal could be reached. And Cuomo on Friday night made it official.
“Probably the biggest single issue that will not be addressed is the legalization of marijuana,” he told reporters at the Capitol.
“That is in concept, we have agreement. But that is all about the devil is in the details. And that is going to take more time to work-out.”
The legislative session runs through mid-June, so supporters and lawmakers will work to get a deal then, he said.
The sides were unable to work out how much to tax marijuana sales, where the money would go and how many stores would be able to open.
“If you ask what is not going to get done, what’s going to be carried over, the main thing is probably going to be marijuana legalization,” Cuomo continued.
Cuomo initially proposed using some of the revenue from taxing marijuana to pay for upgrades to the New York City transit system.
But when passing marijuana seemed increasingly unlikely, he switched his plan to a real-estate tax on high-end apartments in the city to help fund the subways and buses.
Advocates said they were disappointed the measure won’t make it into the fiscal package, saying the budget would have been an appropriate time to get it done.