ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Regulations continue rolling out for New York’s recreational marijuana industry. The Albany Common Council may consider putting the city’s revenue from legal pot sales toward communities harmed by the war on drugs.
New York’s recreational cannabis industry is expected to be a lucrative one, and the state has already laid out plans for how it will allocate tax revenue, with 40% going toward rebuilding communities impacted by the war on drugs.
In addition to the 9% state tax on products, there will also be a 4% local tax. A quarter of that revenue will go to the county where it was sold, and the rest goes to the municipalities. Albany Common Council Member Gabriella Romero wants to follow the state’s lead and allocate revenue toward reparations.
Local law “I” would create a commission to come up with ideas of how that revenue can be distributed. “It’s a no-cost bill that would allow for these organizations to come together to investigate and research whether or not we can do reparations components within the city of Albany with that cannabis revenue,” Romero explained.
Romero said the legislation likely will not come to a vote in the near future, but that it has support from her fellow council members. In the meantime, Albany’s Cannabis Advisory Committee has had numerous public input meetings to help the city craft local policies.
Romero feels her proposed local law goes hand in hand with the state’s efforts to make the industry equitable, including the first batch of dispensary licenses being granted to people affected by cannabis-related convictions. “I’ve met some people that have licenses, and it’s really exciting to hear their stories and to hear how they intend to give back and acknowledging that they themselves have had that harm,” she said.
Other municipalities are gearing up for movement in the cannabis industry as well. The town of Rotterdam will hold a public hearing at its town board meeting Wednesday for residents to provide input on regulations for dispensaries and consumption sites.