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Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

New York state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) struck a deal Thursday to legalize recreational marijuana, the New York Times reported.

Why it matters: If approved, the legislation could pave "the way for a potential $4.2 billion industry" and would reinvest millions of dollars in tax revenue from marijuana sales into minority communities each year, according to the Times.

  • "The deal was crafted with an intense focus on making amends in communities impacted by the decades-long war on drugs," including Black and Hispanic communities, the Times noted.
  • Thursday's agreement comes after several failed attempts to reach a deal in the state.

Details: Recreational marijuana use would be legal for people 21 and older, per the Times, which obtained details of the deal.

  • People could cultivate up to six marijuana plants at home for personal use.
  • The legislation would also allow for the delivery of cannabis and permit some clubs or "consumption sites" where marijuana could be consumed, according to the Times.
  • Cuomo's office did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

What's next: New York's Senate and Assembly could take up the legislation as early as next week, per the Times. The terms of the deal are still being reviewed.

  • Yes, but: "If approved, the first sales of legal marijuana are likely more than a year away," the Times' Luis Ferré-Sadurní noted.
    • "Officials must first face the daunting task of writing the complex rules that will control a highly regulated market, from the regulation of wholesalers and dispensaries, to the allocation of cultivating and retail licenses, to the creation of new taxes and a five-member control board that would oversee the industry."

The big picture: If the legislation is approved, New York would become the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana use.

Go deeper

Report: Gov. Cuomo prioritized family members for COVID testing

Combination images of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo and his older brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images/Brendan McDermid-Pool/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) allegedly gave family members including CNN anchor Chris Cuomo "special access" to state-administered COVID-19 tests in early 2020, the Washington Post first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: State officials are barred from using their positions to gain privileges for themselves or others under New York's constitution. Cuomo's office pushed back on the allegations in an emailed statement, with senior adviser Rich Azzopard saying, "We should avoid insincere efforts to rewrite the past."

8 mins ago - Health

Pfizer-BioNTech: Booster doses more effective at blocking Omicron

Prepared doses of the BioNtech-Pfizer Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in Germany on Dec. 7. Photo: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that two doses of their COVID-19 vaccine were significantly less effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant in early lab tests, but a three-dose regimen was more effective.

Why it matters: Omicron, which has been labeled a variant of concern by the World Health Organization after being identified by scientists in South Africa last month, has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines against this specific new form of coronavirus.

Mike Allen, author of AM
14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden unveils "Building a Better America" branding

President Biden speaks on infrastructure while visiting a bridge in Woodstock, N.H., last month. Photo: John Tully/Getty Images

President Biden today launched a new website and unveiled bold new branding as part of a nationwide tour to sell the benefits of his infrastructure package.

Why it matters: The White House says passage of the new law shows the ability to "forge bipartisan consensus and prove our democracy can deliver big wins" even in these toxic times.

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