Legalization of recreational marijuana could bring in $100 million in tax revenue in its first year, according to the Department of Health.
Several Newburgh residents say that money should go to places where people have suffered because of strict drug laws that were created in the 1980s and 90s.
"If they're going to legalize marijuana, if they tax it, and if it's going to people in need, so be it," said Newburgh resident Cynthia Flores.
Other Newburgh residents are questioning what could be done to help people in need, not unlike Governor Cuomo.
"How do you steer the economic empowerment toward the communities that actually paid the price?" Cuomo said.
He says he wants to make it up to communities with large minority populations, saying minorities have been disproportionately targeted by drug laws.
"I think it's very important that the wealth this is generated here [because] the economic opportunity should be significant. [The wealth] goes to assist those people who paid the price in the first place," Cuomo said.
In Colorado and Oregon, where recreational pot is legal, schools get the biggest cut of the tax revenue, and the rest is split up among other agencies. Marshall Robinson, a Newburgh business owner, would like to see a breakdown with struggling municipalities at the top.
"They could also get some of these people off the street with housing and everything, so i think that's fair," Robinson said.
We can expect the governor to get more specific in the coming weeks. This proposal to put more money towards communities is competing with a well-supported proposal to put more money towards fixing the New York City subway system.