New York has a medical marijuana program and did legalize adult-use cannabis as of March 31, 2021, when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act. The adult-use program will come online once the rules and regulations have been settled and licenses will be issued. It is believed that individuals 21 and over will be able to purchase cannabis from licensed retailers as early as spring 2022. Immediately following the passage of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, it became legal to possess up to 3 oz of flower cannabis and 24 g of concentrate on one's person and to store 5 lbs of flower cannabis at home. It is no longer prohibited to use cannabis products in public, though smoking cannabis is prohibited anywhere tobacco smoking is prohibited. It is still unlawful to possess more than this amount or to share/sell any amount to an individual under the age of 21. Those found to be in possession of more than 3 oz and less than 16 oz of flower cannabis can be fined up to $125. A similar fine applies to those found to be in possession of more than 24 g but less 5 oz of concentrate. Possession of more than 2 lbs and less than 5 lbs of flower cannabis or more than 5 oz and less than 16 oz of concentrate is a Class A misdemeanor. Possession of anything more than either 5 lbs of flower marijuana or 2 lbs of concentrate is a felony.
The law also allows individuals to cultivate up to 6 plants per person on their property, but only 3 plants can be mature at one time. A household will be able to grow up to 12 plants. Rules for home cultivation will be written following the passage of the bill. Consequently, home cultivation will continue to be prohibited until those rules and regulations have been drafted and approved.
At this time, patients participating in the state’s medicinal marijuana program are authorized to acquire and possess a 60-day supply of THC-infused, non-smokable products to treat the following conditions:
• ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
• Chronic pain
• Huntington’s disease
• IBD (inflammatory bowel disorder)
• Multiple sclerosis
• Opioid substitution
• Parkinson’s disease
• PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
• Spinal cord damage
For physicians to take part in New York’s medical marijuana program, one must be an MD, DO, CNP, or physician assistants in good standing who has completed a course approved by the Commissioner of the Department of Health and registered with the New York State Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program. To begin the registration process, follow these instructions: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/practitioner/.
New York does not have a reciprocity program to accommodate medical marijuana patients from out of state.
For more information, see the website for the state’s Medical Marijuana Program here: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/.