Cannabis in New York
New York Cannabis Laws Guide
Is Weed Legal in New York?
In New York, marijuana has now been fully legalized.
In 2014, medical marijuana became legalized in New York City, which made this East Coast state the 23rd one in the country to do so. In July 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a state medical marijuana measure (S7923) creating what is now called the Compassionate Care Act. However, due to difficulties with policy implementation, New York’s medical marijuana program didn’t go into effect until 2016.
In the beginning, New York’s medical marijuana program was restricted in comparison to other state-wide medical marijuana programs. The state’s medical marijuana legislation has expanded over the years to include conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a variety of additional illnesses.
Fortunately, New York has finally legalized cannabis for adult use! On March 31st, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed legislation to legalize marijuana for individuals over the age of 21. While the recreational market isn’t expected to launch until late 2022 or early 2023, keep reading because there’s more information on the law!
Buying Marijuana In New York
In New York, you can easily buy medical marijuana by simply having a valid MMJ card and visiting one of the many dispensaries around the state. However, with the recent legalization of recreational marijuana, things are changing. Here’s what you need to know about buying weed in New York.
Buying Marijuana At a Retail Location in New York:
As of right now, the only legal way to buy recreational marijuana in New York is through a retail location. The state has not yet set up a system for online or delivery sales. You must be 21 years or older to purchase cannabis at a retail location. When visiting a dispensary, you will be required to show a valid ID. This can be a driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued ID. You will also be asked to fill out a short form with your basic information.
Once you are inside the dispensary, you will be able to browse the various products they have to offer. The staff will be able to answer any questions you have about the products. When you find something you would like to purchase, simply take it to the counter and pay for it. The staff will then package up your purchase and you will be on your way!
Using a Marijuana Delivery Service:
If you are a registered medical marijuana patient or designated caregiver, you may be able to have your weed delivered right to your door! Currently, there are a few dispensaries that offer delivery services in New York. This includes Vireo Health, Columbia Care, and more.
At this time, the only people who can receive medical marijuana deliveries are registered medical patients and their designated caregivers. This is because marijuana laws differ in every municipality, so not every city would allow such deliveries.
To use a delivery service, simply find a dispensary that offers delivery in your area. Then, place your order and wait for the delivery driver to arrive. The driver will need to see your ID and medical marijuana card before they can give you your weed. Once everything is verified, they will hand over your purchase and you’re all set!
In New York, both medical and recreational 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 choose. So, it’s always best to check with your local dispensary before heading over.
Adults 21 years and older are able to purchase up to 3 ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of concentrates at a time. However, medical marijuana patients have different purchasing restrictions. They are able to buy up to a 60-day supply of cannabis at a time, which is determined by their doctor’s recommendation.
The types of products available for purchase will differ from dispensary to dispensary. However, most will carry a variety of flowers, edibles, topicals, concentrates, and more.
Taxes on Marijuana In New York
Medical marijuana has been legal in New York for several years, but qualifying individuals must pay for different marijuana products and a 7 percent excise tax. However, if you’re buying for recreational purposes, you’ll have to pay a 9% state sales tax as well as an additional 4% tax that’s split between the county and local governments.
The tax for recreational marijuana will be based on the level of THC in the product, which could range from .5 cents/milligram for flower to up to 3 cents per milligram of THC for edibles. Buying marijuana in New York can be expensive, but it is still cheaper than other U.S. states with similar laws.
The possession limit for recreational marijuana in New York is 3 ounces, while medical patients may possess up to 60 days worth of their prescribed medication. Both groups are allowed to keep up to 5 pounds of cannabis at home. These possession limits apply to both public and private spaces.
Using Marijuana In New York:
According to state law, It is prohibited to consume marijuana in any commercial or public area that follows public health regulations on smoking. This includes areas such as schools, recreation areas, parks, restaurants, cafes, bars, taverns, and pubs. You are also not allowed to consume marijuana in any way while parked, operating, or riding in a car.
There are some places where marijuana consumption is allowed, however. These include private property belonging to a medical marijuana patient, or the private property of a friend or relative of a medical marijuana patient.