New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to unveil his plan for legalizing recreational marijuana in the state--marking the start of what's expected to be a boon for cannabis-related businesses.

Speaking on a radio show on Monday, Cuomo shared a few early details of his plan, which he is expected to reveal in his annual State of the State address Tuesday afternoon. Sales will be restricted to people over age 21, and local governments will have the autonomy to opt out if they choose to, he said. 

"The recreational sale of marijuana is here," Cuomo declared during his radio interview with WAMC's Alan Chartock, adding that the state could collect up to $300 million in taxes from legal pot sales. Medical marijuana was legalized in New York in 2014. 

Currently, 10 states in the U.S. have legalized recreational marijuana. California, which legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, generated around $2.5 billion in sales of legal cannabis in 2018. However, that figure is half a billion less when only medical marijuana was sold, the New York Times reports. In New York, the legal pot market could represent a $3.1 billion opportunity for cannabis businesses, according to a report released last May by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer. 

The effort is largely expected to pass in New York, as Democrats gained majority control of the state legislature after the 2018 midterm elections. 

Published on: Jan 15, 2019