New York has now become the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana, and is set to have the second largest cannabis market in the nation, bringing in an estimated $350 million in tax revenue each year, The New York Times reports. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed legislation that permits residents, effective immediately, to possess up to 3 ounces for recreational use, or 24 grams of concentrated cannabis substances. New Yorkers are also allowed to smoke in public wherever tobacco is permitted, with the exception of schools, work places, and inside of a car. As the law develops in the coming months, pot users will eventually be able to order weed directly to their homes, go to cannabis lounges, and grow up to six marijuana plants in their living spaces.
The legislation maintains that 40 percent of the tax revenue generated will go to Black and Latino communities, who are disproportionately affected by criminal marijuana charges. The law will also ensure that those who were previously charged with marijuana crimes will have their records expunged. Some Republican lawmakers, like state Sen. Rob Ortt, disapproved of the newly passed law. “The outcome of these partisan negotiations is a deeply flawed piece of legislation that will hurt the health and safety of New Yorkers,” Ortt said.