By: Michael Greene
On or about January 16, 2019 the New York State Assembly introduced Assembly Bill A1617. https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/a1617 It is entitled, “Enacts the “marihuana regulation and taxation act”; repealer; appropriation” The bill was introduced by Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, elected from Assembly District 141, Buffalo, NY. https://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Crystal-D-Peoples-Stokes/bio/ The Bill is currently in Assembly Committee.A summary of the Bill is as follows: A1617 Enacts the “marihuana regulation and taxation act”; relates to the description of marihuana, and the growing of and use of marihuana by persons twenty-one years of age or older; makes technical changes regarding the definition of marihuana; relates to removing certain references to marihuana relating to forfeiture actions; relates to the qualification of certain offenses involving marihuana and exempts certain persons from prosecution for the use, consumption, display, production or distribution of marihuana; relates to the definition of smoking; provides for the licensure of persons authorized to produce, process and sell marihuana; levies an excise tax on certain sales of marihuana; repeals certain provisions of the penal law relating to the criminal sale of marihuana and provisions of the general business law relating to drug paraphernalia; creates the New York state marihuana revenue fund, the New York state drug treatment public education fund, the New York state community grants reinvestment fund, and the marihuana microbusiness and marihuana license revolving loan fund; makes an appropriation therefor.The introduction of this bill to the referenced Assembly committee brings the legalization of regulated adult use cannabis in New York, one step closer to reality. This bill, in its current form, in combination with the currently pending New York State Senate Bill S1517, the most complete Cannabis Statutes New York State has seen thus fair. If passed in its current form, the bill would bring sweeping immediate change to the lives of every New York State citizen.