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Recreational Pot Taxes Drop Out of New York State Budget

March 31, 2020, 6:41 PM

Plans to legalize recreational marijuana in New York will “not likely” be included in the state budget, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

The Democratic governor has long been pushing lawmakers to pass the proposal along with the state’s spending plan for fiscal 2021, which starts Wednesday. Cuomo indicated he had hoped pot taxes would be in the final deal as recently as last week.

  • With budget discussions hampered by the new coronavirus pandemic, Cuomo at a virus briefing said he didn’t expect the measure to be in the final deal. When asked why he said, “too much, too little time.”
  • Budget discussions continued Tuesday, and a deal hadn’t been reached as of 2 p.m.
  • Cuomo’s budget proposal, released in January, included a 20% state tax on marijuana sold by a wholesaler or retailer and a 2% tax that would go to the county where the dispensary is located or—in language aimed at New York City—a city with a population of 1 million or more.

To contact the reporter on this story: Keshia Clukey in Albany, N.Y. at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeff Harrington at; Kathy Larsen at