Cannabis Laws And Regulations in New York

Publish on July 15, 2022

Updated on October 1st, 2022 at 07:01 pm

cannabis law in new york

Cannabis Law in New York

Having the biggest population across the East Coast, it is quite a surprise that New York has only a little over 100,000 patients registered for medical cannabis. New York’s medical marijuana policy deviates from the norm.

In times past in New York, just like with pharmaceutical drugs, doctors can also prescribe cannabis. From specifying the type of cannabis you need, the best brand of cannabis to help treat your ill health, and even how you should consume cannabis for effective treatment. Everything about the prescription, handling, and consumption of cannabis was controlled tightly, even down to the expressly shaped vape pens.

But not anymore. New York City legalized the use of cannabis for relaxation purposes in adults in 2021. The legalization of cannabis in New York adds to the medical marijuana program already up and running in the state. Notwithstanding, the state has not set up a legal market for it, nor has it fully enforced rules and regulations to direct it. Consequently, the only way to obtain cannabis in New York is through its medical marijuana program.

This article aims to educate you on the cannabis law in New York, where to purchase and use it legally, the legal age for using cannabis, and everything about the Cannabis laws in New York.

Our team of medical marijuana doctors is readily available to provide you with the best services in every aspect of medical marijuana purchase.

What does the cannabis law in New York entail?

Since 2014, medical marijuana has been available legally in New York through the medical marijuana registry program in the state. When a healthcare provider registered by the state guarantees that it is appropriate to use, people are permitted to use medical marijuana in treating their health situations.

Before patients can buy marijuana legally in New York, the state has to enlist them. The new law in place for the legalization of marijuana is responsible for the following:

  • Elaborates on the use of medical marijuana.
  • Adds to the initial number of caregivers permitted per patient.
  • Permits the purchase of smokable cannabis in medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • Permits prescription for as long as 60 days.

Has cannabis been legalized in New York?

Yes, adults aged 21 and above can consume cannabis legally in New York – the government decriminalized cannabis consumption in 2019 in New York. New York residents can now smoke marijuana for both leisure and therapeutic purposes.

However, only those with authorized medical marijuana cards can buy marijuana in New York till selling marijuana for leisure begins.

The legalization of cannabis in New York

When the “New York Compassionate Care Act” was passed into law by the New York state legislature in 2014, the medical cannabis program officially began. With the law, medical marijuana patients can register and seek approval. When the state approves, patients can buy and have marijuana from dispensaries registered with the state.

Surprisingly, the medical marijuana program of New York makes it easy for patients to get approval, considering its strict origins. The state permits every registered medical practitioner to authorize patients to medical marijuana, even without specific medical conditions.

The sales of cannabis for recreational purposes will start in 2022 or early 2023. It is not advisable for medical marijuana patients to allow their medical marijuana cards to expire, no matter how tempting it seems now that adult-use cannabis is legal in New York. Due to the delay in opening the adult-use market, you will not have any other way to get your medication legally without your medical marijuana card.

Where can I buy cannabis legally in New York?

From age 18 and above, qualified patients can buy cannabis from medical dispensaries licensed by the state. Currently, each purchase of medical marijuana carries a 7% excise tax. This excise tax goes into the cost of the product instead of being expressly outlined on the receipt. When cannabis retail sales start in New York, all retail sellers will pay a 4% local tax and a 9% excise tax.

Is cannabis delivery possible in New York?

Yes, the delivery of cannabis is available in New York. But it is only for medical uses for patients who have licensed medical marijuana cards. Delivery will be made available to adults aged 21 and above when the government opens the cannabis market for adult use.

Where can I use cannabis legally in New York?

Here are places you cannot use cannabis in New York:

  • Businesses with a license allows cannabis smokers to smoke within their commercial property.
  • Private properties, for instance, residences.                                                                                                             

You cannot use cannabis in the following places:

  • Businesses that do not have a license for commercial cannabis consumption.
  • Federal lands such as national parks.
  • Motor vehicles that are in motion for both the driver and passengers.
  • Places where vaping or smoking tobacco is not allowed.

What limitations on cannabis use exist in New York?

Restrictions on medical cannabis in New York cover the recommended dosages prescribed by a certified physician. A physician who recommends medical marijuana is bound to prescribe a specific dosage and will continue working with the patient even after the first prescription.

Consequently, there is no precise limit for patients using medical marijuana in the state of New York. Instead, the state permits patients to have a supply of cannabis that will last up to 60 days, depending on the prescribed dosage.

21 years adults and above can purchase and have:

  • 24 grams of cannabis concentrates
  • 85 grams of cannabis                                                                                                                                                    

Regarding the state of New York’s cannabis home cultivation program:

  • A maximum of 3 immature cannabis plants
  • A maximum of 3 mature cannabis plants                                                                                                                         

Up till April 2022, home cultivation of cannabis for recreational and medical uses in New York is not allowed. Medical marijuana production in private homes will begin soon, and the state is now developing laws for it. Medical cultivation will need the supervision and recommendation of a certified doctor. Home cultivation for recreation in New York will start after the kick-off of adult-use sales.

For medical use:

As deemed fit by the physician, certified patients who use medical cannabis or their caregivers can get up to 60 days’ of supply of cannabis. Just like prescriptions, patients can also refill their stock 7 days before they run out.

During transportation in vehicles:

  • Patients can put cannabis either in the vehicle’s trunk or
  • In a container with a tight lid

What quantity of cannabis are adults allowed to have in New York?

A little over 24 grams of potent cannabis or 85 grams of cannabis for individual use are now allowed in New York. Adults can vape or smoke cannabis in places the state permits tobacco smoking with few exceptions. However, the use of cannabis is prohibited in open-air eating areas at restaurants or vehicles, even if parked and not moving.

Vaping or smoking cannabis in banned areas may lead to the payment of fines and civil summons. It is very much against the law for anyone younger than 21 to possess, use or sell any quantity of cannabis. In addition, nobody can have more than 24 grams of concentrated cannabis and 3 ounces of cannabis, driving under the influence of cannabis, or sell any quantity of cannabis without a license.

After home cultivation and legal sales kick-off,

  • Adults will be permitted to cultivate three cannabis plants in their homes. Homes with more than one adult can plant six marijuana plants – 3 immature and mature marijuana plants each.
  • Adults will be permitted to buy cannabis products at licensed retail stores.
  • 80 ounces of cannabis will be allowed to be kept indoors by adults.
  • Cities and towns can have sit-in areas where people can use cannabis.

Safe purchase of cannabis in New York

Patients can buy marijuana legally from certified dispensaries operational in the state when they present their medical marijuana cards and ID cards. Do not forget that we have a team of medical marijuana doctors on standby to cater to your needs and even teach you how to obtain a medical marijuana card.

With the medical marijuana card, people can purchase a 60-day ration of cannabis at their physician’s advice. Caregivers that purchase medical marijuana for their patients need to present the certifications of their patients and their caregiver registry identification cards.

The medical marijuana registry program

Patients who want to qualify for the medical marijuana registry program must be certified first by a medical practitioner registered with the Department of Health. Patients have to either be residents of New York or live temporarily in New York for medical treatment. They must create an online account to get a state registry identification card when they are certified. Reach out to be linked with any of our medical marijuana doctors to help make this process as easy as possible for you.

Regulations for medical marijuana caregivers

During registration, a patient can appoint up to 5 caregivers, including some facilities, although it is optional for facilities to participate in caregiving. When appointed by a patient, caregivers need to pass through the same application process as patients and are also required to carry the needed identification.

On approval, the caregiver is eligible to help up to 4 patients in getting, storing, and dispensing medical marijuana. Just like certified patients, caregivers can buy up to a 60-day supply of cannabis in place of each patient. The cannabis has to be in the appropriate dosages and forms of consumption for each patient.

Patient eligibility requirements for the medical marijuana program in New York

The following ailments are among those for which licensed healthcare professionals may recommend medical marijuana:

  • Huntington’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Autism
  • Pain that degrades health and functional capability
  • Dystonia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Neuropathy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Spinal cord injury with spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Any other condition certified by the healthcare provider


Can New York employers examine their workers for cannabis use?

In New York, employers cannot run cannabis tests on their employees. The law is binding on all state citizens except the employer has the permission to do that under the provisions of Labor law or any other applicable law.

Can I get treated at a dispensary in New York if I don’t have a medical marijuana card?

The only recognized and authorized marijuana outlets in New York are healthcare dispensaries. The only group of people permitted to buy marijuana in medical dispensaries are registered and certified medical marijuana patients or their appointed caregivers, who have medical marijuana registry identification cards issued by the state.

When will records of marijuana as a criminal offense be wiped out from New York detention records?

When the state of New York legalizes marijuana, the state will wipe out all records of marijuana use as a criminal offense that are under investigation before the legalization date. Despite this, the law permits the Office of Court Administration to use up to two years to uncover and thoroughly review previous records of marijuana usage as a criminal offense. For instance, when charges are grouped together and not specified individually, it will take a lot more time to pick out and expunge a marijuana conviction as a single offense from the cluster of different charges.

Final words

In addition to the medical marijuana registry program already up and running in the state, New York legalized the use of cannabis for recreational purposes for adults in 2021. However, there is no legal market set up for it, and there are no solid laws to preside over its operations. For now, using the medical marijuana card from medical marijuana doctors is still the only means to get access to marijuana legally in New York.

We have a team of medical marijuana doctors who are your best bet at giving swift responses and effective services when it comes to medical marijuana cards. Trust us by reaching out to us and we will deliver because we are reliable.

Note: This article’s content is provided for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional legal or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or queries regarding laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult a lawyer, physician, or other licensed practitioner.

Medical Marijuana Card NY logo

If you live in New York and are interested in getting certified to use cannabis for medical purposes, there’s no better time than now. Our licensed doctors can assist you in obtaining or renewing your medical marijuana card.

Medical Conditions

Your primary care physician can recommend cannabis to help you manage any of these medical conditions.