ALBANY, N.Y. - The push to legalizing recreational adult-use marijuana is on the road to becoming legal in New York State, but counties across the state say a 2-percent tax on cannabis isn't enough. They say it should be doubled.
Legalizing recreational marijuana is high on the priority list for Governor Andrew Cuomo. During his budget address earlier this year he called on state lawmakers to get it done within 100 days.
Cuomo's initial proposed taxes fall into three parts.
Tax 1 - the cultivation of cannabis.
Tax 2 - the sale by a wholesaler to retail dispensary.
Tax 3 - local 2% sales tax.
The New York Association of Counties says 2-percent isn't enough. They're pushing for a 4-percent tax.
NYSAC points out that individual counties are on the front lines of public health and safety.
"It is crucial that the State provide local governments with adequate resources to manage the impacts of adult-use cannabis legalization,” NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario said. “Only with sufficient funding will local governments be able to work in partnership with the State to oversee public health, public safety, criminal justice, consumer protection, and economic development."
Whether it ends up being a 2-percent or a 4-percent tax, there are questions about how the state will use that extra revenue. A number of publications indicate that both Governor Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio favor a good portion of that funding be allocated to the MTA.
The state budget deadline is March 31, 2019.