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Cannabis Stocks Move Amid Report Cuomo Will Propose To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

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Cannabis Stocks Move Amid Report Cuomo Will Propose To Legalize Recreational Marijuana
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A number of cannabis stocks traded higher Tuesday afternoon amid two major developments.

The first is the release of the final 2018 Farm Bill that legalizes hemp on a federal level in the United States, potentially opening more opportunities for cannabis companies.

The second development comes from New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo reportedly plans to introduce a plan to legalize recreational marijuana in the 2019 legislative session.

What Happened

Cuomo's aides said he will possibly introduce a plan to legalize recreational marijuana with his next executive budget, according to a report from the New York Post. The decision comes after Cuomo created a 20-member task force to draft legislation to regulate cannabis. The New York Post reported 17 listening sessions have been conducted across the state to gather the opinions of communities on the matter of legalization.

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The new legislation could potentially expunge the records of New Yorkers that were arrested for marijuana possession in the past. The Post notes a big number of them are black and Latino.

Why It's Important

New York legalized medical marijuana in 2014. It approved the plant as therapy for chronic pain in 2016. Last year alone saw a 128-percent growth among medical marijuana patients in the state.

The potential for the recreational market in New York is even bigger. A study conducted by city controller Scott Stringer and cited by the New York Post said New York could be a $3.1 billion cannabis market. Taxes from sales of recreational cannabis could generate $436 million in state tax revenues and $336 million in city tax revenues.

What's Next

More details about Cuomo's plan to legalize marijuana have yet to be released. In addition, lawmakers must settle a number of aspects, such as the number of recreational stores allowed in the state, certain limitations on consumption and household cultivation.

During the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats won control of the New York State Senate, getting 39 out of 63 seats.

Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC) closed up nearly 7 percent, while Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE: ACB) closed up 3.4 percent. The stock of CBD-infused beverage marker New Age Beverages Corp (NASDAQ: NBEV) advanced nearly 8 percent.

The marijuana-related ETF, (NYSE: MJ), closed up about 1.7 percent.

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