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Cuomo: Legal recreational marijuana unlikely to be part of budget deal

New Yorkers will have to wait until after the state budget to see legal sales of marijuana in the state – Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that it’s not likely to be agreed to by the spending plan’s April 1 deadline.  

Cuomo said it’s going to take longer than the next three weeks to set up a complicated system of production and distribution of cannabis and decide on the competing ideas for how to use the revenue from sales.

He also said there’s been some blowback from opponents and concerns about protecting children from having access to the drug.

“There is a wide divide on marijuana,” Cuomo said.

The governor said there are other items, though, that need to be in the state budget in order for him to agree to a spending plan.

They include making permanent the state’s temporary 2 percent per year property tax; criminal justice reforms, including an end to cash bail; and changes to the MTA’s governing board.

Cuomo said there is agreement with the Legislature to impose a new pied-a-terre tax to help pay for mass transit, but he said he still is seeking a deal on enacting congestion pricing for parts of Manhattan.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.