ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — We’re learning more about the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) that was signed into law late last month. On Monday, the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) hosted a webinar with state lawmakers and an aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to discuss it.
The MRTA provides automatic expungement of records for marijuana convictions that are now legal. But, Senator Jeremy Cooney says there is a window that allows the Office of Court Administration up to two years to be able to go through the process. “But, I think for a lot of people who are very anxious about this, maybe they have a family member or a loved one who has been incarcerated or still is, it brings great relief to know that they are going to be able to move on,” Cooney said.
“If you were convicted of three ounces or less, which many people were, you can have those records expunged automatically, or some people are a little more eager, they can get counsel and go and get it started on their own and have that removed from their record,” said Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes.
Peoples-Stokes says based on the 2019 decriminalization law about 4,000 people in Buffalo alone can have their records expunged, and this new legislation makes the number grow even more.
When it comes to the sale of marijuana, the rules surrounding that will largely be created by the new Office of Cannabis Management. For anyone 21-years of age and older interested in recreational home grow it could take some time. “The idea is to sort of delay it a little bit, allow dispensaries to get up and running… allow folks to have access through regulated channels and then if they still want to grow their own,” said Axel Bernabe, Counsel to the Governor. “You would be able to do that and we would issue regulations 18 months from the first… commercial sale.”
For the medicinal home grow program, regulations need to be issued by about six months from now, and then will need to be commented on.