Yes! Weed is officially fully legalized in New York!
In 2014, medical marijuana was legalized in the Big Apple, making this East Coast state the 23rd in the country to legalize medical marijuana. In July of 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the state’s medical marijuana measure (S7923) creating what is now the Compassionate Care Act. However, New York’s medical marijuana program didn’t go into effect until 2016 due to difficulties in the planning and implementation of the numerous marijuana policies.
Initially, New York’s medical marijuana program was limited in comparison to other state-wide medical marijuana programs. In recent years, the state’s medical marijuana program has undergone expansions regarding qualifying medical conditions, now including ailments like PTSD and many more.
Luckily for those without a medical marijuana card, New York has finally legalized cannabis for adult use! Governor Cuomo signed legislation on March 31st, 2021 to legalize cannabis for anyone over the age of 21. While the recreational market is not set to open until late 2022 or early 2023, keep reading for more details on the law!
Buying medical marijuana is easy with a valid MMJ card and dispensaries can be found across the state. As stated previously, the recreational market has yet to open in the state. Stay tuned for more information - but expect news in late 2022 or early 2023!
To legally buy marijuana products you can visit various dispensaries from any of the 10 registered retail New York organizations. To purchase marijuana, you must be a state-registered medical marijuana patient with a physician’s approval. When purchasing marijuana, bring a valid driver’s license or state-issued identification card to prove your age, name and other information. You must also bring your medical marijuana card with you whether you’re a patient or an assigned caregiver.
Caregivers may purchase marijuana on behalf of a patient they represent, but you must be at least 21 years old to become a caregiver. Individuals who qualify for medical marijuana and are eighteen years old or younger may be able to receive marijuana with a doctor’s approval and parental consent.
Once the recreational cannabis market opens, we expect to see plenty of dispensaries open their doors in New York. Check back for more information!
Currently, marijuana delivery services are offered in certain areas such as Albany, Queens, Rochester and Brooklyn. As marijuana laws are different in every municipality, not every city in New York will allow marijuana deliveries. At this time, the only individuals who qualify to receive medical marijuana deliveries are registered medical patients and/or designated caregivers. A few dispensaries that offer marijuana delivery services in New York include Vireo Health, Columbia Care.
The latest legislation legalizing cannabis for adult use also allows for dispensaries and delivery services to bring cannabis right to your door. Stay tuned for more!
In the state of New York, there are set hours of operation that licensed dispensaries and shops must follow. In New York, medical marijuana dispensaries and retailers can open as early as 8 in the morning and stay open until as late as 10 in the evening. Despite the legal hours of operation set by state law, city and local governments may further restrict these hours if they so wish. We expect that recreational dispensaries will also have to abide by these rules as well - check back later!
Adults over 21 may purchase up to 3 ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of concentrates.
The recent legislation which legalized cannabis for adult use also changed the purchasing restrictions for medical marijuana patients. Patients may now purchase flower and can purchase a 60 day supply at a time.
The latest legislation also increased the products available for medical marijuana consumers. Patients can now purchase flower, along with edibles, marijuana-infused capsules, different liquids such as tinctures, topical items, various oils, transdermal patches and certain vaporization-related products.
For several years, medical marijuana has been legal in New York. In addition to the costs, qualifying individuals must pay for different marijuana products, a 7 percent excise tax is placed on medical marijuana products in the state of New York. Compared to other U.S. states with medical marijuana programs, New York’s excise tax is on the lower end of the spectrum.
For recreational consumers, cannabis will have a 9% state sales tax, with a 4% additional tax split between the county and local governments. Furthermore, New York will have a tax that will be based on the level of THC in the product. This could range from .5 cents/milligram for flower and up to 3 cents per milligram of THC for edibles.
Adults over 21 years old may have up to 3 ounces of cannabis or 24mg of concentrates on their person when in public, while being able to possess up to 5 pounds of cannabis at home.
Medical marijuana patients may now possess up to 60 days supply of their prescribed medication at a time.
Using Marijuana In New York:
Even though marijuana is legal in New York, there are very few places where qualifying individuals can legally consume marijuana. Currently, it’s against state law to use marijuana products in any type of commercial or public space that follows public health laws regarding smoking. Similarly, it’s illegal to use marijuana products within 100 feet of any entrances, exit or outdoor spaces at public and private schools, colleges and universities. It’s also against the law to consume marijuana products in any motor vehicle, whether the vehicle is parked or in motion.
Below is a list of several places that do and don’t allow the consumption of marijuana products:
Areas in New York that DO NOT allow the consumption of marijuana:
Schools and school grounds
Restaurants and cafes
Bars, taverns, and pubs
Areas in New York that DO allow the consumption of marijuana:
Private property of a medical marijuana patient
A medical marijuana patient’s friend or relative’s private property
In New York and all other U.S. states, smoking marijuana on federal lands is strictly illegal. Even though medical marijuana is legal in New York, this doesn’t mean that medical patients can light up on federal lands such as state parks, forests and beaches. Unfortunately, marijuana remains an illegal substance federally in the U.S. So, if you’re caught smoking marijuana on federal lands in New York such as at Liberty State Park, Riverbank State Park or Bear Mountain State Park, you may face legal consequences.
New York is an extremely popular and highly visited state with a population of roughly 20 million people. Medical Marijuana was first legalized in 2014 making them the 23rd state in the nation to legalize marijuana on a medical level. The bill S7923 was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2014, creating the New York medical marijuana program now known as the Compassionate Care Act. The intention of this bill was to provide qualifying state residents with natural alternatives to pharmaceutical medications to treat their various ailments. Despite the CCA being approved in 2014, medical marijuana patients were not able to purchase products until 2016 when the program went into full effect. The state's program was originally quite limited, with patients only able to purchase a 30 day supply of cannabis at a time and not able to purchase flower. The legislation signed in 2021 changed things, however. Now patients may purchase up to 60 days worth of cannabis, can have more caregivers, and may purchase cannabis flower.
To obtain a medical marijuana card in New York you must be a state resident diagnosed with one of the state’s qualifying medical conditions, diseases or ailments. A handful of New York’s qualifying conditions include (but aren’t limited to) seizures or epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe or chronic pain and severe or chronic nausea. To see if you qualify for a medical marijuana card, check out New York’s full list here.
If you believe you’re eligible to apply for a medical marijuana card, you must follow these steps:
1. Visit a healthcare provider and gain their approval regarding the usage of marijuana to help treat your qualifying condition
After receiving their approval, they must sign your certification form which will be submitted along with your application
This form is required in order to apply for a state registry ID card
To discover registered healthcare providers in New York, check out this link
2. Apply for a state registry ID card online
You can follow step-by-step instructions about how to register by clicking this
You need the following documents when applying online: Completed certification form from your healthcare provider, proof of New York residency and identity, (and if you’re younger than eighteen years old) a parent or guardian must submit a copy of their government-issued ID as well as a copy of the patient’s birth certificate
3. Visit any licensed medical marijuana dispensing facility
After receiving your permanent state registry ID card, you’re able to visit any New York dispensing facility to purchase medical marijuana products
When doing this for the first time, you must bring your registry ID card and certification form with you
At this time, New York doesn’t have a reciprocity program in place that allows out-of-state medical marijuana cardholders to purchase medical marijuana in New York. This may change in the future, but for now, only state-registered medical patients and licensed caregivers can purchase medical marijuana products at New York dispensaries and retailers.
Adults over 21, medical marijuana patients or designated caregivers can legally transport various marijuana products from a dispensary or retailer to one’s home. It’s essential for all approved marijuana products to be placed in a secure, safe and locked storage compartment before driving. The storage compartment must be located in a part of the vehicle that is not visible from the outside, such as an enclosed trunk. Also, all marijuana products should be in spots where the driver and passengers cannot access them while inside the vehicle.
In New York and all other U.S. states, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is against the law. This includes all THC products, and since it remains a Schedule I illegal substance, it’s strongly advised to not drive while under the influence of marijuana. If you get caught driving under the influence of cannabis, you may face serious legal consequences.
Even though marijuana is legal in other East Coast states near New York, it’s against the law to drive across state lines with marijuana products. This applies to medical marijuana patients, caregivers and all other individuals who may purchase marijuana. If you’re pulled over and caught while driving across state lines with marijuana, you may be arrested, receive driving restrictions, or go to jail since marijuana is a federally illegal substance.
The latest legislation has legalized home-grown cannabis in New York for both patients and adults alike. Adults over 21 and patients with valid MMJ cards may cultivate up to 6 plants, with 3 allowed to be mature at one time. Per household, there may only be up to 12 plants. Recreational consumers will have to wait 18 months after cannabis sales begin, while MMJ patients will have to wait just six months after the bill passes.