It is legal in New York for people over 21 years old to possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of concentrates. Cannabis can be smoked or vaped anywhere that also allows the smoking or vaping of tobacco products, with some exceptions. Medical patients can obtain up to a 60-day supply of cannabis.
Adult-use cannabis dispensaries will be allowed to open after April 1, 2022, but it could take significantly longer for the state to approve the regulations and licenses for cannabis retailers.
Once licensed, cannabis retailers will be allowed to deliver cannabis and cannabis products. The state will also allow on-site cannabis consumption lounges that can also sell marijuana.
New York residents over the age of 21 are also allowed to plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, process, and possess up to six cannabis plants at any given time. This will only go into effect a year and a half after the first legal sales begin, and home growers will not be able to have more than three mature plants at any given time.
The “Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act,” which legalized recreational cannabis in the state, became law on March 31, 2021. Under the law, post convictions of possession of up to 16 ounces and convictions of any other cannabis violations which are now no longer illegal were to be automatically expunged.
How to Get a Medical Card in New York
1. Get certified by an approved physician
You must first contact a medical professional registered with the New York State Department of Health, who can certify that you have one of the approved health conditions (see list below) and can assert that medical marijuana is appropriate for your condition.
2. Register online
After receiving certification, you must then register online for a New York government account and then go to “health applications” and click on the “Medical Marijuana Data Management System” where you will then be able to register for step-by-step instructions on how to register either as a patient or caregiver. If you would like to serve as a caregiver you must be designated by the patient in question in their online application, and be a New York resident with a valid driver’s license.
3. Pay application fee
There is a $50 application fee for applying online, though as of September 2020 the Department of Health is waiving the fee. Once your registration is approved, you will receive a temporary registry identification card which can be used in conjunction with a government-issued photo ID at any approved New York medical marijuana dispensary.
Under the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act, patients with the following terminal or debilitating medical conditions can qualify for a medical marijuana card in the state of New York:
- ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Huntington’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Pain that degrades health and functional capability where the use of medical cannabis is an alternative to opioid use
- Substance use disorder
- Muscular dystrophy,
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Any other condition certified by the practitioner.
Only certified patients with a New York State registry identification card may purchase medical cannabis in the state.
Where to Buy
Medical marijuana was legalized in the state of New York under Assembly Bill 6357 in 2014 and there are currently around 100,000 approved patients in the state.
The first dispensary opened in January 2016. Under state law, approved dispensaries must stock at least one brand that has an equal ratio of THC to CBD and one brand with low THC and High CBD.
Medical patients can receive up to a 30-day supply of cannabis-infused, non-smokable products.
Cultivation is not permitted under New York’s medical marijuana law.
New York also decriminalized possession of up to two ounces of marijuana in 2019, which now is punishable by a fine of $50-$200. More than 160,000 people with prior convictions in the state will have their records expunged, according to a 2019 report, and Governor Andrew Cuomo has vowed to legalize the plant in 2020.