Recreational marijuana is officially legal in New York. But it's still going to take time for residents to be able to buy or grow marijuana. Here's why.

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On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo officially signed the bill that legalizes recreational marijuana in New York. Last week, Hudson Valley Post reported lawmakers reached a deal on legalizing adult-use cannabis. Cuomo's signature was the final step.

"This is a historic day in New York - one that rights the wrongs of the past by putting an end to harsh prison sentences, embraces an industry that will grow the Empire State's economy, and prioritizes marginalized communities so those that have suffered the most will be the first to reap the benefits." Governor Cuomo said. "I thank both the Leader and the Speaker, and the tireless advocacy of so many for helping make today's historic day possible."

Starting today anyone 21-years and older can possess up to three ounces of marijuana. New Yorkers can now legally smoke marijuana where cigarette smoking is allowed. The bill also automatically expunges most marijuana-related convictions.

However, it is not yet legal to grow or sell marijuana in New York yet.


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Business Insider reports "eventually" it will be legal to grow up to six cannabis plants at home. Three plants can be mature and three must be immature. A household is capped at 12 plants, no matter how many adults live in the home.

Sales of marijuana won't start until an industry is actually in place, which officials say could take years. Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes believes it's going to take estimated it could take 18 months to two years for legal sales to begin.

Other experts believe you won't be able to legally buy marijuana in New York until the summer or fall of 2022.

Below is more on this "historic" bill and more reasons why lawmakers say it will take a long time until sales are legal in New York.

Keep Reading:

Legal Sales of Marijuana in New York Will Likely Take Years

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