Legalize cannabis this time around, say New York farmers

A recent poll suggests that the majority of New Yorkers support legalization of recreational cannabis

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Despite a failed bid to legalize cannabis earlier this year, farmers in the state of New York are more than ready for another attempt.

This Monday, the New York Farm Bureau (NYFB) released a memorandum of support in favour of a new bill to legalize and regulate cannabis in the state, which will be under consideration before legislators’ annual session concludes next week.

“Given the current status of the farm economy in New York State, farmers recognize the potential opportunity the cultivation of cannabis could be for New York State’s agricultural industry,” reads the memo from the NYFB.

“For a successful implementation of a cannabis program in New York State, if legalized, farmers must have an active role in the growth and production, as well as development and implementation of the recreational cannabis program in the state.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had initially incorporated cannabis legalization into his state budget proposal, but the topic gradually fell out of the political limelight due to backlash from some physician, parent and law enforcement groups.

This Monday, the New York Farm Bureau (NYFB) released a memorandum of support in favour of a new bill to legalize and regulate cannabis in the state, which will be under consideration before legislators’ annual session concludes next week. iStock / Getty Images Plus

Cuomo has expressed doubt that legalization will be successful this time around.

“I don’t think it is feasible at this point,” Cuomo told media last week.  “I don’t think it matters how much I push in 11 days. I think when the Senate says they don’t have the votes, I take them at their word.”

Should the bill pass, the NYFB is hoping for the creation of an advisory board, on which it wants seats representing the interests of farmers.

“Farmers encourage the establishment of an advisory board which the bill creates, however, New York Farm Bureau recommends a set number of seats to be reserved for farmers to provide local grower input into the program,” says the memo.

A recent poll suggests that the majority of New Yorkers support recreational cannabis legalization.

 

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