Joel Giambra, Reform Party candidate for Governor, outlined his “Marijuana Infrastructure Plan” at the Cannabis Parade in Manhattan on Saturday. Giambra has pledged to end New York’s marijuana prohibition.
A statewide cannabis excise tax of 13%, permits and licensing fees, along with the 7% state and local sales tax, is projected to generate $500 million annually. That revenue will fund state bonding for critical infrastructure improvements in the estimated amount of $12.2 billion over a five-year period.
These infrastructure improvements are estimated to create more than 244,000 jobs over a seven-year period – putting 35,000 New Yorkers to work for seven years – in construction, among suppliers, and indirectly as a result of the spending’s multiplier effect on local economies.
A fully mature adult use cannabis industry would range between $3 billion and $4 billion in sales annually, with an economic impact between $8 billion and $10 billion annually (including multiplier effects).
The industry itself will employ 20,000 to 25,000 people, with an additional 10,000 to 15,000 jobs created indirectly or induced. The initial build out of the industry – including growing, processing, distribution, and retail venues – is projected to create 5,000 additional temporary jobs.
Upon the enactment of the cannabis regulation, Governor Giambra will ensure – if need be, by the power of the pardon – that all non-violent marijuana convictions are expunged and all individuals currently incarcerated for non-violent marijuana crimes are released as immediately as is practicable.
Minorities in New York continue to face marijuana arrests nearly 10 times the rate of whites. In 2017, 86% of the people arrested for marijuana possession in New York City in the fifth degree were people of color: 48% were black; 38% were Hispanic; 9% were white; despite research that shows minorities use marijuana in roughly the same rates as non-minorities.
“Sometimes you have to laugh when confronted with all of the hysteria and misinformation about marijuana that has been propagated over the last many decades,” Giambra says.