Oneida County Cannabis – Is It Legal & Where To Buy 2023

  1. New York Cannabis
  2. Oneida Cannabis Overview

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Oneida County?

Yes, it is legal to cultivate cannabis in Oneida County, according to the State of New York’s Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) passed in March 2021. This amended the 2016 law, which had legalized medical cannabis solely. Adults aged 21 and up are now permitted to use cannabis under the MRTA.

The Office of Cannabis Management’s (OCM) Medical Cannabis Home Cultivation Guide and Personal Home Cultivation of Medical Cannabis Regulations state that from October 5, 2022, possessing, planting, growing, harvesting, drying, and processing of a maximum of three immature female cannabis plants and three mature female cannabis plants are allowed in the private residence of certified patients in the Medical Cannabis Program Registry who carry medical marijuana ID cards and are aged 21 and older, provided the residence is not on federal land. They are also permitted to keep and prepare up to five pounds of useable non-growing cannabis. If more than one adult certified patient lives in the same private residence, the maximum number of cannabis plants that can be grown and processed are six immature and six mature female cannabis plants. Counties and other local authorities are not entitled to prohibit this.

Certified patients aged 21 and older may cultivate and process cannabis indoors or outdoors provided the outdoor area is not shared with anyone else and all cannabis activities are hidden from the sight of the public by walls, gates, and comparable barriers. All cannabis plants and products must be kept under lock and key to prevent unauthorized access, especially by individuals younger than 21 years old and by animals.

For certified patients who are of age but unable to grow and process medical cannabis in their private residence, their registered caregivers may do so on their behalf in the caregiver’s private residence. Each patient may only have one caregiver growing and processing cannabis for them. Each caregiver may cultivate and process cannabis for up to four patients simultaneously but is limited to six immature and six mature female cannabis plants for every given period.

Patients or caregivers may not sell or trade any of the medical cannabis plants grown at home or any of the cannabis products made out of these. If they have excess plants or products, they are allowed to avoid breaching the prescribed limits by giving away not more than three ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of cannabis concentrate to another certified patient aged 21 or older or a caregiver. They must not, however, receive anything in return.

The MRTA allows the home growing of cannabis for personal use by any adult in New York aged 21 and up. According to the law, each adult aged 21 and above may grow up to three mature plants and three immature plants at a time. If there are three or more adults of that age in the same residence, however, the maximum that they can grow would only be six mature plants and six immature plants.

Home growing of cannabis will only start to be allowed after the OCM has issued regulations on the matter 18 months after the first adult-use cannabis retail sale. That first retail sale in New York State occurred on December 29, 2022.

Once home growing of adult-use cannabis is implemented, the MRTA states that no county or locality is allowed to prohibit it completely. Local municipalities are, however, allowed to regulate cannabis home growing with their own rules.

To legally acquire, cultivate, clone, harvest, dry, cure, grade, cut, and sell marijuana commercially to licensed cannabis processors, a company must first obtain from the OCM an adult-use cultivator license. Holders of this license are not permitted to apply for a cannabis retail dispensary license.

A conditional adult-use cultivator license was established by S.8084-A/A.9283-A in February 2022 with the goal of hastening the establishment of the adult-use cannabis industry. The conditional license extends the cultivator's permission to cover cannabis and cannabis product processing until June 30, 2024, and cannabis and cannabis product distribution until June 1, 2023.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Oneida County?

Yes, it has been legal to manufacture cannabis products in Oneida County in accordance with the MRTA of New York State since March 2021. Homegrown cannabis can be processed at home by certified patients aged 21 and older and their caregivers. They are, however, prohibited from using combustible fuels such as butane and propane, as well as any gas or liquid that has a flashpoint below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. To avoid home fires, it is also not recommended to use alcohol for cannabis extraction.

Once the OCM has issued the guidelines for adult-use cannabis home growing and processing, adults aged 21 and older may also process cannabis at home subject to the OCM’s limitations.

Businesses must apply to the OCM for an adult-use processor license to manufacture cannabis commercially. They are then authorized for the acquisition, possession, processing, packaging, branding, labeling, and selling of cannabis to other licensed cannabis processors or licensed cannabis retailers. Like cultivator licensees, they are not allowed to apply for a cannabis retail dispensary license.

Cannabinoid hemp processor licensees under the Cannabinoid Hemp Program are eligible to apply for the conditional adult-use processor license. This license allows them to participate in the adult-use marijuana market and distribute cannabis and cannabis products until June 1, 2023.

The Cannabis Control Board has mandated packaging and labeling standards for adult-use conditional cultivator and adult-use conditional processor license holders, as follows:

  1. The marijuana retail package must fully contain the product, be tamper-proof and child-resistant, and conform to the Testing Procedure for Special Packaging and Poison Prevention Packaging Standards.

  2. The cannabis product must not be contaminated by the retail container. While in storage, the packaging must protect the goods from pollutants and light. Packages with numerous servings must be resealable.

  3. The marijuana retail packaging must not look appealing to people under the age of 21. It must not use bright colors, puffy fonts, cartoons, holographic features, scent-emitting features, sound-making features, or have any resemblance to the containers of items promoted to people under the age of 21.

  4. The following information must be indicated on the label in a clear 6-point font or larger:

  • Name, license number, address, and contact information of the manufacturer

  • Product’s unique lot number

  • Link to the product’s certificate of analysis through a scannable bar code or QR code

  • Product weight

  • Number of servings in the package and serving size

  • For edible products, per package and per serving content in milligrams of total tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and other phytocannabinoids

  • For non-edible products, per package and per serving content in volume percentage of total tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and other phytocannabinoids

  • Product terpene profile

  • Complete ingredient list, with any major allergens identified by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 highlighted

  • For edible products, the appropriate nutritional label

  • Expiration and “use by” dates

  • Clear product usage instructions

  • Clear product storage instructions

  • The required warnings and symbols for cannabis products required by the state of New York

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Oneida County?

Yes, it is legal to sell cannabis by retail in Oneida County as mandated by the 2021 MRTA of the state of New York. The MRTA, however, granted towns, cities, and villages, until December 31, 2021, to establish a local law if they did not wish to permit adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries or the consumption of adult-use cannabis in those dispensaries in their jurisdiction. They were allowed to opt out of either or both. Those who opt out may subsequently revoke their prohibition by passing a new law.

In Oneida County, one of three cities, six out of 26 towns, and four out of 16 villages opted out of allowing adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries. These are the city of Sherill; the towns of Boonville, Bridgewater, Florence, Lee, Vernon, and Westmoreland; and the villages of Camden, Clayville, Clinton, and Oneida Castle. Meanwhile, Waterville village allowed adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries but with no consumption sites.

Businesses must apply to the OCM for a conditional adult-use retail dispensary license (CAURD) to legally sell cannabis by retail but applications closed on September 26, 2021. On November 21, 2022, the first 36 adult-use retail dispensary licenses were issued. As of January 2023, there is only one licensed adult-use retail dispensary operational in the entire state, located in Manhattan.

Since medical cannabis was legalized in 2016, dispensing facilities of licensed organizations were allowed to sell to certified patients aged 18 and above, as well as their caregivers, medical cannabis in all forms, including flowers, tinctures, vaporizers, edibles, and others. Based on the patient’s certification, the maximum quantity that a patient can purchase is a 60-day supply at a time.

Patients must present both their certification and their medical marijuana registry card when purchasing from a dispensing facility. Caregivers must provide their ID card from the caregiver registry as well as the patient's certification when purchasing medical cannabis for their patients.

For adult-use cannabis, there are no limitations set by law on the types or forms of cannabis and cannabis products allowed for retail sale. However, each adult aged 21 and older may only possess a maximum of three ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of cannabis concentrate at one time. Retail dispensaries are required to verify the age of the consumer through a valid government photo ID.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Oneida County?

Yes, cannabis delivery is legal in Oneida County by state law. It is legal for dispensing facilities of registered organizations to deliver medical cannabis to registered patients and caregivers who hold medical marijuana cards. New York State’s Cannabis Control Board has issued guidelines on the delivery of adult-use cannabis to individuals aged 21 and older by conditional adult-use retail dispensaries.

All cannabis deliveries must be prepaid upon ordering online or by phone only through the retail dispensary’s official platform or application. Deliveries can only be made to the physical address of a residence or private business within the state of New York. Deliveries to rented residences are allowed. Fully enclosed delivery vehicles may carry cannabis worth up to $20,000. For deliveries made through unenclosed vehicles like motorcycles or on foot, only cannabis worth up to $5,000 may be carried at one time.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Oneida County

To obtain a medical marijuana ID card, an Oneida County resident must first locate a medical practitioner who will evaluate whether the patient has any of the qualifying medical conditions listed below:

  • Cancer

  • HIV/AIDS

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

  • Parkinson’s disease

  • Epilepsy

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Nervous tissue damage in the spinal cord with intractable spasticity

  • Huntington’s disease

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Neuropathies

  • Substance use disorder

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Pain that degrades overall health

  • Dystonia

  • Alzheimer’s disease

  • Muscular dystrophy

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Autism

  • Other conditions certified by the medical practitioner

The patient must register online once the medical practitioner has issued the certification. The patient's designated caregiver must also be listed in the registration. Each patient may have up to five caregivers. After the patient's registration has been accepted, the caregivers must also register online. Both patients and caregivers must produce valid identification and evidence of state residency.

Following registration, a temporary medical marijuana registry ID card may be printed to be used for purchasing medical cannabis. The medical marijuana card will be sent to the patient and caregiver by mail after it has been processed.

For questions concerning the Medical Cannabis Program, contact the OCM through email at medical@ocm.ny.gov or by phone at 844-863-9312.

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Oneida County?

A 7% excise tax is levied on gross receipts when a registered organization sells medical cannabis to a certified patient or designated caregiver. Patients and caregivers are not subject to this tax.

The MRTA imposes taxes on adult-use cannabis cultivation and manufacturing distributors and retail dispensaries:

● For every milligram of total THC sold in edible cannabis form, distributors will pay $0.03

● For every milligram of total THC sold in cannabis concentrate form, distributors will pay $0.008

● For every milligram of total THC sold in the form of loose flowers, shakes, or pre-rolls, distributors will pay $0.0005

● For every cannabis product sold, retail dispensaries will pay a 9% state excise tax based on the selling price

● For every cannabis product sold, retail dispensaries will pay a 4% local excise tax based on the selling price. From this local tax, the county gets 25% while the village, town, or city gets 75%. The share will be divided evenly between a village and a town where it is located, or according to their agreement.

The New York State Cannabis Revenue Fund will receive all state income from adult-use cannabis tax revenues to meet the MRTA's administrative costs. The remaining monies will be used in the following ways:

  • 40% for the State Lottery Fund, which will be used for education;

  • 40% for the Community Grants Reinvestment Fund, which will be used for non-profit and community-based organizations in populations that have been disproportionately affected by the cannabis ban, and for other social equity initiatives;

  • and 20% for the Drug Treatment and Public Education Fund, which will be used to create and carry out a statewide public education camp.

Once completely implemented, it is projected that New York State will collect $360 million per year from the MRTA, while local governments such as Oneida County will earn $75 million.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Oneida County

While the sale of adult-use recreational cannabis just started in December 2022 in New York State, medical cannabis has been legal in Oneida County since 2016. According to data from the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer page, in 2015 there were 64 arrests for marijuana possession. In 2021, there were no arrests related to marijuana.

There were 107 DUI arrests in 2015. This decreased to 93 in 2021.

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