Thorny ques­tions threaten to slow le­gal pot in New York

The Western Star - - WORLD -

AL­BANY, N.Y. — Ef­forts to le­gal­ize mar­i­juana for recre­ational use in New York are gain­ing steam and Gov. An­drew Cuomo pre­dicts a bill will pass this year. But don’t ex­pect to see pot shops open­ing up from Brook­lyn to Buf­falo any­time soon.

That’s be­cause while there’s broad agree­ment on the idea of le­gal­iza­tion, there’s no con­sen­sus on a long list of de­tails that must be fig­ured out first. Taxes and reg­u­la­tions must be ap­proved. A process for li­cens­ing re­tail­ers must be cre­ated. A new gov­ern­ment en­tity may have to be formed. Lo­cal gov­ern­ments will have to be brought in. Even after a bill passes, it could take a year or more for any pot shops to open, based on what’s hap­pened in other states and New York’s own ex­pe­ri­ence with med­i­cal mar­i­juana.

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