New York is officially the newest state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over.

Though the state has long been considered traditionally liberal, New York had decades of draconian legislation that made it difficult for residents to consume cannabis without facing harsh penalties. In a statement, Governor Andrew Cuomo said his signing of legislation legalizing recreational marijuana was “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.”

The move comes after years of false starts and promises. Unlike previous initiatives, New York’s most recent effort to push for marijuana legalization comes on the heels of New Jersey taking steps to legalize cannabis. New Jersey voters passed a legalization measure last year.

New Yorkers are now legally allowed to possess up to three ounces and 24 grams of cannabis concentrate. Residents are also are permitted “to smoke cannabis in public wherever smoking tobacco is allowed,” but the legislation carves out room for a state agency and local municipalities to develop stricter measures on public cannabis consumption. And smoking cannabis “is not permitted in schools, workplaces, or inside a car.”

The new law will also expand medical marijuana access by allowing “people with a larger list of medical conditions to access medical marijuana, increase the number of caregivers allowed per patient, and permit home cultivation of medical cannabis for patients.”

Additionally, the new law also includes “automatic expungement or resentencing for anyone with a previous marijuana conviction.” In 2019, more than 150,000 NY resident marijuana possession convictions were automatically expunged. Individuals were also given the option to have their prosecution and criminal records completely destroyed. At the time, Cuomo stated the move was “a critical step forward in addressing a broken and discriminatory criminal justice process.” New York Times reported that Black people in Manhattan were 15 times more likely than whites to be arrested on marijuana charges from 2015 to 2018.

Cuomo’s announcement that he signed marijuana legalization legislation was made while he battles a myriad of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations. Democratic leaders have called for his resignation while state Attorney General Letitia James launched a criminal investigation into the allegations. Cuomo is also being investigated for hiding the full extent of nursing home COVID-19 deaths in his state. And it was revealed in late March that Cuomo sought a $4 million deal for his pandemic memoir with taxpayer-funded aides reportedly helping him with the manuscript — a potential violation of state laws that prohibit using public resources for personal gain.