New York's Lt. Governor, Kathy Hochul, spoke with Yasmin Young about legalization and creating equity in the State's cannabis industry. She also talked about COVID-19 vaccinations and where WNY stands.

NYS Lt. Gov. Interview About Marijuana Legalization, Creating Equity in the State's Cannabis Industry and COVID-19 Vaccines

In his first State of the State address in 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced his proposal for legalizing marijuana in New York State,

Under the Governor's proposal, a new Office of Cannabis Management would be created to oversee the new adult-use program, as well as the State's existing medical and cannabinoid hemp programs. Additionally, an equitable structure for the adult-use market will be created by offering licensing opportunities and assistance to entrepreneurs in communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.

The Lt. Governor reiterated their commitment to allowing communities of color to participate in the profit-sharing from the legalization of Cannabis in the State. The decision is based on the deficit that New York State is facing due to COVID-19. The legal sale of weed in NYS will generate an estimated $300 million in tax revenue, according to the Governor's website.

The Lt. Governor told me,

"The State is looking at this as a good revenue source for us, we're hurting terribly because of COVID and these costs associated with that. But let's look at communities of color and this is a chance to right the wrongs, that the war on drugs hurt them the hardest."

Lt. Gov. Hochul also talked about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in New York. She said the challenge with getting folks vaccinated is that the Federal government is only providing the State with 300,000 dose each week. She also spoke about understanding why communities of color, especially African-Americans, are skeptical of getting vaccinated.  She said they will be opening a mass vaccination site at UB South, but you will need to make an appointment (don't just show up).

You can get more info on the vaccine in NYS here.

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