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Officials, lawmakers continue considering legal weed

March 02, 2019 09:31 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)- Lawmakers say working out all the details of a plan to legalize marijuana statewide could take too long for legalization to make it into the state's new budget before times runs out in Albany.

The Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act is in Governor Cuomo's budget this year but at this point so many lawmakers have expressed concerns and questions that it's unclear whether it will get passed this year.

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If it does Cuomo claims it will result in millions of dollars in revenue for state and local government. The proposed law would create a new "Office of Cannabis Management" to oversee marijuana production, distribution, licensing, and taxation. Governor Cuomo says that taxes on  growers, buyers and sellers would generate $300 million dollars in revenue.

Cheryl Dinolfo, Monroe County Executive says she is waiting to hear the plan lawmakers choose before making a final decision on legal weed and how it will be implemented countywide.

"It's in the governor's budget, we're hearing that might be exiting the budget and put into a stand alone bill," Dinolfo said. "Right now we're looking at this very complex issue."

Current Monroe County Clerk, Adam Bello is running to take Dinolfo's seat. He says he's also waiting for lawmakers to hash it out before deciding where he stands on it. 

"It's something I'd obviously like to take a look at what the final product is," Bello said. "I don't think anybody really knows yet what New York is going to do."

Under the proposed law, counties can opt out of marijuana sales. 

Monroe County spokesman Jesse Sleezer says Dinolfo continues to consider the potential impact on our community.

"The County Executive recently met with local Police Chiefs to ask for their feedback regarding legalization and she understands the concerns of law enforcement," Sleezer wrote. "Monroe County is monitoring the legislation's progress closely to assess its potential impact on our community." 

Governor Cuomo says legal pot is in trouble if it's not included in the state budget. The budget deadline is April 1.

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Kaci Jones

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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