By Jelena Martinovic
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed recreational marijuana into law today, making the Empire State the 15th in the U.S. to legalize cannabis.
The legislation allows adults 21 and older to possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of marijuana concentrates and to buy recreational cannabis from licensed retailers.
The bill also permits the cultivation of up to three mature and three immature plants for personal use.
In addition, it will also help those unfairly punished for a marijuana-related activity that would now be legal.
#BREAKING: I just signed legislation legalizing adult-use cannabis.
The bill creates automatic expungement of previous marijuana convictions that would now be legal.
This is a historic day.
I thank the Leader and Speaker and the tireless advocacy of so many.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 31, 2021
Highlights From New York Legislation: New Yorkers will be allowed to smoke marijuana publicly wherever tobacco is allowed, The New York Times reported, adding that municipalities and a new state agency could add stricter regulations.
Smoking will not be allowed in schools, at work or in cars.
RELATED: New York Lawmakers To Vote On Cannabis Legalization Bill Within Days
New York legalized medical cannabis in 2014, capping the number of operators at 10. Medical operators in the state will now be able to enter the recreational market by paying a one-time fee, the Times reported.
Those 10 medical marijuana operators include the publicly traded cannabis companies Columbia Care Inc. (OTCQX:CCHWF), Curaleaf Hldgs Inc. (OTCQX:CURLF), MedMen Enterprises Inc. (OTCQX:MMNFF), Acreage Holdings Inc (OTCQX:ACRHF) and Vireo Health International Inc. (OTCQX:VREOF).
The Path To Approval: New York lawmakers approved the bill to legalize marijuana on Tuesday night, just days following the release of the latest text.
The proposal was moved through four committees Tuesday before being approved by the Senate in a 40-23 vote.
RELATED: New York Gov. Cuomo Wants To Legalize Weed, But It Won’t Be Easy — Here’s Why
The state’s Assembly passed it by a vote of 100-49, ABC7 New York writes.
“That’s what’s good about this legislation … we’re going to turn around the lives of some of those people and help them to be able to take care of themselves, their families, and their communities,” said Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes.
Dustin Blitchok contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.