NEW YORK — New York Governor Kathy Hochul and legislative leaders were looking for ways to crack down on illicit marijuana stores threatening the state’s nascent legal market for recreational marijuana amid belated budget negotiations.

Hochul, a Democrat, told reporters at the state Capitol on Tuesday that she hoped the budget negotiations would be concluded soon. Expired April 1.

“It was a long process,” he said. “I see a way to increase the state budget, maybe later this week.”

Hundreds of unlicensed marijuana stores have opened in New York City, competing with legal dispensaries whose products are heavily taxed. Illicit stores and trucks have proliferated even as New York slowly strives to establish its legal market.

Hochul said he wants to give state tax authorities and the Office of Cannabis Management enforcement tools to shut down or fine illegal pot shops, a proposal outlined in a bill that he filed last month.

“We are trying to fight against the illegal industry. It’s not easy to do. But when you make these businesses fail because of illegal competition, we need to take drastic action now,” Hochul said.

Lawmakers missed a deadline to pass a state budget in part because of disagreements over the governor’s proposals to change bail rules and his ambitious plan to boost 800,000 new homes nationwide. state over the next ten years. It is common in New York for political issues to be included in state budgets.

Hochul’s housing plan was ousted from the budget amid opposition from suburban lawmakers concerned about local zoning mandates. Hochul said he would push through some of the elements of his plan during this legislative session after the budget is approved.

Hochul’s proposed budget includes an amendment to the current bail law to give judges more discretion by removing the “least restrictive means” standard to secure the defendant’s return to court. Hochul describes it as a clarification of the guidelines, but liberal lawmakers have resisted making further changes to the state bail law.

Hochul declined to say whether a bond agreement had been reached, but said she was “satisfied with the current situation.”

Michael Hill in Albany, New York contributed to this report.

Maysoon Khan is a staffer with the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to report on secret issues. Follow Maysoon Khan on Twitter.

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