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New York: Legalization Measure Introduced to Legislature

Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) and Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D-Buffalo) have introduced a substantially amended version of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) (Senate Bill S3040A/A. 3506B), which would reestablish a legal market for marijuana in New York and create a system to tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol and the craft brewery industry for adults over the age of 21. 

Over the past twenty years, many New Yorkers have been negatively affected by the harms of prohibition in New York. With people of color accounting for nearly 85% of those arrested annually, the MRTA directs the benefits of taxing and regulating marijuana to these communities. Because structural racism is ingrained in marijuana prohibition, it’s important that the MRTA both ends marijuana prohibition and promotes racial justice.

Significant steps are taken in the amended MRTA to ensure racial justice and a small business-friendly industry, including:

Creating a micro-licensing structure, similar to New York’s rapidly growing craft wine and beer industry, which allows small-scale production and sale plus delivery to reduce barriers to entry for people with less access to capital and traditional avenues of financing.

Establishing the Community Grants Reinvestment Fund, which will invest in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the drug war through job training, economic empowerment, and youth development programming.

Ensuring diversity in New York’s marijuana industry by removing barriers to access like capital requirements and building inclusivity by allowing licensing to people with prior drug convictions. Only people with business-related convictions (such as fraud or tax evasion) will be explicitly barred from receiving licenses.

Enter information below to contact your lawmakers and urge them to support this important legislation. 

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