A report from a state bar association committee has backed the legalization of marijuana in New York, and the full bar association on Friday is due to consider it. 

A committee within the New York State Bar Association recommended the legalization of marijuana as well as various strategies to implement the program. 

“The committee believes a comprehensive cannabis proposal that includes hemp, medical marijuana, and adult-use is the most effective way to navigate this complex issue while policy continues to evolve at the federal level,” said Committee Member Aleece Burgio. “Our report offers guidance to New York’s governing bodies surrounding safety, research, social equity, taxation, and other principles critical to success.”  

The bar association's report recommended USDA mandated testing for cannabis, the creation of an Office of Cannabis Management at the state level, allowing local governments to opt-out of a program, a statewide tax for retail sales and advertising and marketing guidelines. 

The report comes as lawmakers in Albany are once again considering a measure that would legalize marijuana in New York and create a retail cannabis program in the state. Questions still remain, however, over where revenue would be directed from the program and how communities affected by prior drug laws and enforcement would be able to benefit.