Sen. Savino: New York will pass recreational pot, but needs to change medical program –

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — With the New York state Legislature comfortably under Democratic control, state Sen. Diane Savino said that she’s confident that New York will legalize recreational marijuana.

Savino told the Advance on Wednesday that she believes Gov. Andrew Cuomo will successfully push for recreational marijuana to be legalized through the 2019 state budget.

“I thought it was going to happen regardless. This is not a red or blue issue,” Savino told the Advance in a phone interview during a weeklong trip to Nevada. “The state I’m standing in right now, they have a new governor coming in who is a Democrat, but most states did marijuana under Republicans long before Democrats got involved.”

On Nov. 6, Democrats won five seats held by Republican incumbents in the state Senate and won three open races, erasing the GOP’s one-seat majority and giving Democrats control of the legislature for the first time since 2009. But despite their majority, Savino said she suspects that the issue will be bipartisan.

“There were a lot of members in the Republican conference who were interested in marijuana because they see it as an economic development issue, particularly in upstate New York,” she said


Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) — the architect behind New York’s medical marijuana program — told the Advance that she’s worried that New York’s medical marijuana program could be disrupted by introducing adult-use recreational marijuana.

Savino is currently in Nevada meeting with officials, business owners, and touring facilities to bring back some of the state’s best practices.

Some states like Oregon, Washington and Colorado saw a drop in product sales and dispensaries tied to its medical marijuana program, but Nevada introduced a single-stream model, which allows for recreational and medical marijuana to be distributed in the same location.

“You’ll have professionals

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