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New York Marijuana Laws

New York allows both medical and recreational marijuana. It was fully legalized in March 2021 with changes focused primarily on recreational marijuana. You can learn the specifics of medical marijuana laws in New York.

New York's Recreational Marijuana Laws and Penalties

New York's drug laws are complex. There are half a dozen multiple classes laid out for drug possession alone. With that caveat, the basic provisions of New York marijuana laws are listed in the table below. See FindLaw's Drug Charges section to learn more.

Code Section

Penal Law Section 220, et seq.; New York S6579

Public Health Code Sections 3306, 3307

Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act S854A

Penalties for Possession

Up to 3 ounces of cannabis or up to twenty-four grams of concentrated cannabis - legal for those 21 or older

4 to 8 ounces - up to one year in jail and/or $1,000 fine

8 to 16 ounces - 1-4 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 fine (mandatory prison time for second offenses)

16 ounces to 10 pounds - 1-7 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 fine (mandatory prison time for second offenses)

10 pounds or more - 1-15 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 fine (mandatory prison time for second offenses)

Penalties for Sale

Up to three  ounces or up to twenty-four grams of concentrated cannabis without payment - Legal for those 21 or older

Cultivating or selling up to 24 grams - up to 1 year in jail and/or up to $1,000 fine

25 grams to four ounces - 1-4 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 fine

4 to 16 ounces - 1-7 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 fine

16 ounces or more - 1-15 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 fine

Selling any amount to a minor - 1-7 years in jail and/or up to $5,000 fine

Trafficking -
Expungement According to Bill S6579, People who have been previously convicted of possessing small amounts of cannabis can expunge their records.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Medical Marijuana Laws in New York

New York allows for the limited use of medical marijuana within the state. No more than twenty dispensaries can operate statewide. Those facilities are able to prescribe non-smokable preparations (i.e. tinctures, edibles) of marijuana to people with cancer, glaucoma, or other diseases on a state list.

Research the Law

New York Marijuana Laws: Related Resources

Arrested Under New York Marijuana Laws? Talk to an Attorney

States have generally loosened their marijuana laws, but it's still a crime to sell, grow, or possess cannabis in New York. If you've been charged with a marijuana-related crime, penalties upon conviction (or after a guilty plea) may vary quite a bit. Your best bet is to contact a skilled drug crime lawyer in New York who can explain how the state's marijuana laws apply to your specific circumstances and provide you with your options moving forward.

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Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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