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Photo: Seth Wenig-Pool/Getty Images)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana for all adults over the age of 21.

Why it matters: New York is the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana and is expected to quickly become one of the largest markets for legal cannabis in the country.

  • The marijuana industry in New York is expected to generate $350 million in tax revenue annually and potentially create 30,000 to 60,000 jobs, according to Cuomo's office.
  • The measure will also expunge records for thousands of people with past marijuana-related convictions. People of color represented 94% of marijuana arrests in New York City in 2020.
  • About 46% of revenue from pot sales will be steered toward Latino and Black communities, per the New York Times.

The state of play: While the regulatory framework and infrastructure for selling and purchasing recreational marijuana will be rolled out in the coming months, eligible New Yorkers will immediately permitted to have up to three ounces of weed for recreational use or 24 grams of concentrated forms of marijuana, the Times adds.

  • New Yorkers will be allowed to smoke marijuana in any public place that tobacco smoking is permitted, but not in schools, workplaces or cars. Local ordinances may apply different rules.
  • Residents will also eventually be allowed to have small amounts of their own marijuana plants at home and get weed delivered to their doorsteps.

What he's saying: "This is a historic day in New York - one that rights the wrongs of the past by putting an end to harsh prison sentences, embraces an industry that will grow the Empire State's economy, and prioritizes marginalized communities so those that have suffered the most will be the first to reap the benefits," Cuomo said in a statement.

  • "This was one of my top priorities in this year's State of the State agenda and I'm proud these comprehensive reforms address and balance the social equity, safety and economic impacts of legal adult-use cannabis."
  • "I thank both the Leader and the Speaker, and the tireless advocacy of so many for helping make today's historic day possible."

Go deeper

N.Y. lawmakers pass bill to legalize adult use of marijuana

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

New York state lawmakers on Tuesday passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana for people 21 and older.

Why it matters: The bill would expunge records for thousands of people who have past marijuana-related convictions. Black and brown people represented 94% of marijuana arrests in New York City in 2020.

White House nominates Rick Spinrad as NOAA leader

In this NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image, Hurricane Dorian, a Cat. 4 storm, moves slowly past Grand Bahama Island on September 2, 2019. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)

The White House on Thursday evening nominated Rick Spinrad, an oceanographer at Oregon State University, to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Why it matters: Filling the NOAA slot would complete the Biden administration's leadership on the climate and environment team. The agency, located within the Commerce Department, houses the National Weather Service and conducts much of the nation's climate science research.

3 hours ago - World

Israeli officials will object to restoration of Iran deal in D.C. visit

Photo: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed the delegation traveling to Washington, D.C. next week for strategic talks on Iran to stress their objection to a U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear deal and to refuse to discuss its contents, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: That position is similar to the one Israel took in the year before the 2015 nuclear deal was announced, which led to a rift between the Israeli government and the Obama administration. History could now repeat itself.