Gov. Andrew Cuomo and many state lawmakers have said legalizing marijuana in New York is a priority this year, but questions remain about how adult use will be regulated and taxed.
A legal marijuana bill currently sits in both the state Assembly and Senate. Cuomo has said he wants the regulatory framework to be completed as part of this year’s budget, which is due April 1, but some lawmakers, including Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, have said they don’t think that will happen.
Ten other states across the country have legalized recreational use of marijuana to some degree. Here’s a look at how they have regulated adult-use and what Cuomo and other lawmakers have said could happen in New York.
How will marijuana be taxed?
The taxes on marijuana vary from state to state. Some, like California, Colorado and Nevada, have both excise and sales taxes of about 10 to 15 percent each. Washington and Oregon only have excise taxes, but they are at 37 and 17 percent, respectively.
In 2017, the states that have had legalized marijuana the longest, Washington and Colorado, had nearly $320 million in tax revenue and $250 million in tax revenue, respectively.
New York could see as much as $300 million a year from taxes on marijuana once the plan is rolled out, expected to be in 2023 if it passes this year.
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According to his 2019 budget, Cuomo is proposing three taxes on recreational marijuana:
1. Cultivation tax: $1 per dry weight gram of cannabis flower and $0.25 per dry weight gram of cannabis trim; 2. State sales tax: 20 percent of the sale from wholesaler to retail dispensary; 3. Local sales tax: 2