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Legalization of recreational marijuana and what it means for schools in NYS
July 5, 2021
It is now lawful in New York State for adults ages 21 and older to use marijuana. What do school leaders need to know about the state’s new law to prepare for the 2021-22 school year, which could be the beginning of a long, strange trip?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) into law on March 31, 2021. The MRTA permits individuals who are 21 years old or older to possess up to three ounces of cannabis. They may also display, purchase, obtain or transfer without compensation up to the same amount of marijuana.
The sale of marijuana will not be lawful in the state until the Department of Health issues regulations for retailers, which is expected to occur sometime in 2022. Marijuana sellers will be required to obtain a state license from a new governmental entity called the New York State Cannabis Control Board.
The MRTA has many implications for school districts in New York State. School boards and superintendents should consider the three issues discussed below, which are affected by both state and federal law.