Homegrown? New York’s recreational marijuana debate includes growing at home

NY Capitol News

Cuomo, Assembly at odds over the issue

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — While most state lawmakers have voiced support for the legalization of recreational marijuana there remains some significant points of difference over what legalization should look like.

For example, there are two camps on the issue over whether it should be legal for people to grow up to six marijuana plants in their home.

The state assembly supports growing at home claiming it will prevent people who don’t have easy access to a dispensary from buying on the black market.

“Just like you can brew beer in your home, you can develop wine in your home, those kinds of things, we want to afford citizens the opportunity to do the same thing with growing marijuana,” said Assemblymember Harry Bronson, a Democrat who represents the Rochester area.

MORE | What legal marijuana looks like in Massachusetts, and what it could mean for New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office responded to News 8 saying, “The proposal builds off of emerging best practices for public health and safety which currently restrict home growing in place in WA and IL, and proposed in NJ, RI, and CT, to ensure all cannabis products are produced by regulated licensees and pass rigorous product testing and other consumer safety requirements.”

Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol speaking on behalf of the NYS Sheriffs’ Association, which opposes legalization, says the governor’s opposition to home grow lends support to the argument that Cuomo is only interested in the tax revenue, not the fundamental positions behind legalization.

“Under his plan you can only possess it if you pay the 10.25% tax the governor is putting on it,” Maciol said.

MORE | Legislation for recreational marijuana, online sports betting proposed in New York state

Cuomo’s legalization plan is part of his budget proposal.

Lawmakers have until April 1 to pass a budget so expect negotiations on issues like this one to heat up in the coming weeks.

This is part two of a three-part recreational marijuana series. Click here for part one, and tune into News 8 at 11 Wednesday for part three.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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