Yes, the possession of up to 3 ounces of marijuana or up to 24 grams of marijuana concentrate is legal in New York per the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA). MRTA makes the recreational use of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age or older.
The legal status of recreational or adult-use marijuana is recent, as MRTA only became law in March 2021. However, using medical marijuana has been legal for longer, per the New York Compassionate Care Act of 2014. This law created a framework that enabled eligible patients to purchase and use medical marijuana for qualifying medical conditions. Eligible patients are registered and issued medical marijuana cards that confer the right to purchase marijuana from licensed dispensaries.
The Office of Cannabis Management is the state agency responsible for regulating the use, possession, sales, and cultivation of marijuana. Also, it reviews applications and issues licenses to marijuana cultivators, processors, distributors, and dispensaries in the state.
Possession of up to 3 ounces of marijuana or up to 24 grams of marijuana concentrate is not a crime. But possession of marijuana above the stipulated amount is an offense. The amount of marijuana and the age of the individual determines the offense's severity. Thus, these offenses can be violations, misdemeanors, or felonies. While violations incur a relatively small fine or civil penalties, felonies are subject to fines and lengthy jail terms. The following marijuana offenses are classified as felonies in New York State:
Class E Felony:
Class D Felony:
Unlawful possession of marijuana above ten pounds or marijuana concentrates above four pounds.
Unlawful sales of more than five pounds of marijuana or more than two pounds of marijuana concentrate.
The maximum possible sentence is seven years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Class C Felony:
There are no separate penalties for a first-time offense of unlawful possession of marijuana in New York. However, a first conviction of Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) by marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $500 – $1,000 or up to one year in jail. This is accompanied by revocation of license for six months.
Presently, the Office of Cannabis Management maintains a list of dispensaries where adults and eligible persons may buy medical marijuana from dispensaries registered with the Office. The list provides information about the dispensaries, including their phone numbers, their license numbers, and physical address.
There are no authorized dispensaries for buying marijuana for recreational use at this time. However, this will change in the future. The Office of Cannabis Management is working on regulatory frameworks to license state-registered marijuana dispensaries for adult (recreational) use.
It is legal for New Yorkers 21 years and older to purchase, consume, and give marijuana to people who meet the age limit. Individuals who wish to purchase marijuana from licensed dispensaries must provide a valid means of identification to prove that they are up to the legal age.
It is legal to possess up to three ounces (85 g) of marijuana and up to 24 grams (0.85 ounces) of marijuana concentrate. New York residents with medical marijuana cards can hold up to a 60-day supply of an approved medical marijuana product at any time. Residents can store up to five pounds of marijuana at home.
According to New York State legislation, it is unlawful for any person under 21 years who is not a registered medical marijuana patient to possess, buy, sell or use any amount of marijuana. If caught, they will face a civil penalty of not more than $50 and also undergo drug education.
Generally, youthful offenders do not qualify for a criminal conviction. Also, they are not disqualified from holding any public office. Furthermore, their records are kept discreetly under state laws.
The penalty for minors is milder in comparison to that faced by those who sold or handed marijuana to them. According to state laws, sales of marijuana in any amount to a person under 18 years of age is a class E felony. It is punishable by up to seven years of imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $5,000.
Six to 12 plants. An individual is permitted to grow up to six plants either indoors or outdoors for recreational use. This comprises three mature and three immature plants.
Meanwhile, a household, regardless of the number of residents, can cultivate a maximum of 12 plants. This comprises six mature plants and six immature plants.
The airspace is a federal territory. As such, federal laws make it illegal to fly with weed, even when interstate travel involves states where weed is legal. This restriction is because, from a federal perspective, weed in any quantity is illegal, and federal law governs airplane travel in the United States of America.
Although marijuana is illegal on a federal level, Transport Security Administration (TSA) allows travelers with medical marijuana to travel with marijuana products containing no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis. Even under this special permission, a person may only travel with less than three ounces of marijuana and 24 grams of marijuana concentrate.
Furthermore, it is important to get information about the final destination and what their marijuana laws are since marijuana is not legal in every state.
No, there are no penalties for being high in public. However, New York State's Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA) prohibits smoking and vaping in some public and private indoor workplaces. So although smoking is not illegal, there are exceptions to locations where it is allowed.
Meanwhile, smoking in a parked or moving vehicle is illegal. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of marijuana or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) by drugs is a misdemeanor per the Vehicle and Traffic Law, section 1192(4).