Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced two proposals Wednesday designed to increase state tax revenue, one legalizing cannabis and another that permit online sports betting.
His proposals would create an Office of Cannabis Management to oversee both a new adult-use cannabis program, and the state’s existing medical and cannabinoid hemp programs. It would also enable licensing and assistance to entrepreneurs in communities of color ravaged by years of drug-law enforcement.
Legalization is expected to generate more than $300 million in tax revenue.
Charlie Bachtell, CEO and co-founder of Cresco Labs, which owns several medical marijuana shops in New York, including Sunnyside in Huntington Station, said, “This past election cycle showed that American attitudes toward cannabis have evolved and are now more mainstream than ever. I applaud Governor Cuomo and the state legislature for recognizing this sweeping trend and the cannabis industry as an agent of economic and social change. We look forward to working together and advancing legislation that benefits New Yorkers, with the shared goals of generating significant tax revenue, creating good paying jobs, and spurring critical reinvestment in communities most impacted by the war on drugs.”
Cuomo’s second proposal would authorize mobile sports betting that would have to work with existing casinos. :
Under the plan, the New York State Gaming Commission would issue a request for proposals to select and license a sports operator or platform to offer mobile sports wagering in New York. This operator or platform must have a partnership with one of the existing licensed commercial casinos. The Commission would also require businesses to include safeguards against abuses and addiction.
Sports wagering is legal online in 14 states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania.