Mayor says Rochester can make up to $2.4M on marijuana taxes

February 11, 2019 06:56 PM

NEW YORK (WHEC) -- If marijuana becomes legal in New York state this year, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren says she wants the city to make some money on it. 

The mayor thinks the city can generate up to $2.4 million on the sale of marijuana.

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The mayor made the pitch to the special budget committee made up of members of the state Assembly and Senate.

This committee has been hearing pleas for money and regulations from state agencies for two and a half weeks.

On Monday, it was the turn of the mayors in Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany and New York City. 

Mayor Warren told the budget committee the city can make between $1.2 and $2.4 million from taxes on marijuana.

She wants to use that money to lift people out of poverty and help people and communities negatively affected by the criminalization of marijuana.

But cities need state permission to add a new tax.  

Mayor Warren: "Cities deserve revenue generated from marijuana sales to fund programs to lift residents out of poverty. To that end, I would ask the legislature to specifically provide cities with the ability to tax marijuana sales and or simply to allow for retail marijuana sales to be subject to the local sales taxes."

The mayor supports the legalization of marijuana. 

Under the governor's proposal, the growers and the suppliers are taxed, not the individual buyers.

In Colorado, cities can tax the sale of marijuana, like any retail commodity, up to two percent. 

The News10NBC investigative team is looking into the legalization of marijuana on the street level. We're asking: 

  • What exactly is going to be legal? 
  • How many tickets do police write? 
  • What are police and the prosecutors going to do? 

Watch for our team investigation in two weeks. 


Berkeley Brean

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