Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday he has appointed a work group to draft legislation that would create a legal marijuana program in New York State.
Cuomo says the legislation will be considered in next year’s legislative session.
The decision follows a report from the Department of Health that found legalizing marijuana in New York state would have more benefits than negatives. It also comes as states surrounding New York have approved legal marijuana programs.
“I have reviewed the multi-agency report commissioned last January and have discussed its findings with Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker,” said Gov. Cuomo. “The next steps must be taken thoughtfully and deliberately. As we work to implement the report’s recommendations through legislation, we must thoroughly consider all aspects of a regulated marijuana program, including its impact on public health, criminal justice and State revenue, and mitigate any potential risks associated with it. I thank the members of the workgroup for their time and expertise as we work to craft a model program.”
The work group will consist of Cuomo’s general counsel, lawmakers and academic experts.
New York already has a legal medical marijuana program.