Gov. Andrew Cuomo is nothing if not a creature of the process in Albany.

And that was on display Friday after lawmakers concluded the 2019 legislative session without support for the legalization of marijuana, setting up a regulatory and retail system for cannabis.

Cuomo at a news conference with reporters wrapping up the session said, once again, lawmakers should have backed marijuana legalization in the state budget.

“I’m not going to say I told you so. But I’m going to say everything but,” he said.

“The Legislature did not want to do it in the budget,” Cuomo added. “I said I thought it was a mistake. They wanted to do it afterwords and they didn’t have the political support for the votes.”

The governor holds considerably more leverage over the budget process and can shape the final document in a way he cannot outside of the spending plan.

But lawmakers this week failed to reach a consensus on how to legalize marijuana. Short of the votes, they backed legislation that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana and expunge criminal records. A separate bill promotes and regulates the hemp industry.

A bill expanding the state’s medical marijuana program, however, did not gain final passage. And Cuomo said he is reviewing the hemp legislation and did not commit to signing it.

The more sweeping legalization bill failed to gain support, especially among Democrats on Long Island.

“I said the budget was an easier vehicle to get things done,” Cuomo said. “The budget is a vote you have to take. The budget puts many issues in it. It’s an easier political vehicle for a legislator to vote on a budget.”

The fallback bill decriminalizing marijuana was cheered by Cuomo, with lawmakers calling it a first step.

“To me it was an obvious act of justice because everybody will agree it’s the black and brown community that’s been disproportionately effected by enforcement,” he said.