Is Cannabis Legal in New York?

Get the latest news on the cannabis legal landscape in New York. Stay up to date on possession, cultivation, and distribution laws.

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Cannabis has been a hot topic as of late, with more and more states jumping on the legalization bandwagon. As of 2019, 10 states plus Washington D.C. have legalized recreational cannabis, and 33 states have legalized medical cannabis. But what about New York? Is cannabis legal in New York?

The short answer is no, cannabis is not currently legal in New York for either recreational or medicinal purposes. However, this could soon change; a bill was recently introduced in the New York State Senate that would legalize recreational cannabis. If the bill passes, New York would become the 11th state to legalize recreational cannabis.

Stay tuned for updates on the legal status of cannabis in New York!

The Current Status of Cannabis in New York

As of now, the use of cannabis for recreational purposes is not legal in the state of New York. However, the use of medical marijuana was legalized back in 2014. The current status of cannabis in New York is that it is decriminalized. This means that you will not be arrested or jailed for possessing small amounts of cannabis.

Possession of Cannabis

Possession of small amounts of cannabis is a violation punishable by a fine of up to $100 for the first offense, and $200 for the second and subsequent offenses. The possession of more than 25 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 3 months in jail and a fine up to $500. Possession of more than 8 ounces of cannabis is a felony punishable by 1-4 years in prison.

Use of Cannabis

The use of cannabis in New York is illegal. The sale, possession, and use of cannabis is a misdemeanor crime in the state of New York. Sale or possession of more than 25 grams (0.88 ounces) of cannabis is a felony offense. Use of cannabis is also illegal on all federal land, including national parks, monuments, and forests.

Cannabis was decriminalized in New York in 1977, but this only applied to possession of small amounts (less than 25 grams) for personal use. In 2019, the state decriminalized the possession of cannabis up to two ounces (57 grams), though sale and cultivation remains illegal. While decriminalization reduces the penalties for possessing small amounts of cannabis, it does not make it legal.

The use of medical cannabis was legalized in New York in 2014. To be eligible for a medical cannabis card, patients must be diagnosed with one of the following qualifying conditions: cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, or Huntington’s disease.

Cultivation of Cannabis

The cultivation of cannabis is currently not legal in New York. If caught, those in possession of 25 grams or less will be issued a summons and have their cannabis confiscated. For amounts more than 25 grams, however, penalties become more severe. Those caught with between 25 grams and 2 ounces can be arrested and face a jail sentence of up to 3 months and/or a fine of up to $500. For amounts between 2 and 8 ounces, the potential jail time increases to 1 year along with a fine of up to $1,000. Lastly, for anyone caught in possession of more than 8 ounces of cannabis, they can be sentenced to a minimum of 1 year imprisonment along with a fine of up to $5,000.

The Future of Cannabis in New York

On November 14th, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill legalizing the recreational use of cannabis in New York. This makes New York the 11th state to legalize recreational cannabis. This is a significant development, as New York is one of the most populous states in the US. The legal status of cannabis in New York has been a topic of debate for many years, and this new development is sure to have a significant impact on the state.

Legislation Pending

The future of cannabis in New York is currently up in the air as legislation on the subject remains pending. While a number of states have already legalized cannabis for either recreational or medicinal use, New York has yet to do so. This means that, at present, it is not legal to buy or sell cannabis in New York.

However, this could all change in the near future as there is currently a bill pending in the state legislature that would legalize cannabis for adult recreational use. If this bill were to pass, it would mean that anyone over the age of 21 would be able to purchase and consume cannabis. The state would also be able to tax the sale of cannabis, which could generate a significant amount of revenue.

It is still unclear whether or not this bill will ultimately pass, but it does have a good chance of success. This is due in part to the fact that public opinion on cannabis has shifted dramatically in recent years and a majority of Americans now support legalization. In addition, a number of high-profile elected officials, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, have come out in favor of legalization.

Even if the current bill does not pass, it is highly likely that New York will eventually legalize cannabis in some form. This is because there is simply too much public support for legalization and too much money to be made from taxation. It is just a matter of time until New York catches up with the rest of the country on this issue.

The Potential Impact of Legalization

The potential impact of cannabis legalization in New York is significant. Not only could it generate much-needed revenue for the state, but it could also create new jobs and boost the economy. According to a report from the New York State Department of Health, legalizing cannabis could generate up to $678 million in tax revenue and create more than 30,000 jobs.

The report also found that legalizing cannabis would reduce costs associated with enforcing prohibition, such as arresting and prosecuting people for possession. It would also save money on corrections and healthcare, as people incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses would be released and fewer people would need treatment for addiction.

Legalizing cannabis would also have a positive impact on social justice. People of color are disproportionately arrested and incarcerated for drug offenses, even though they use drugs at the same rate as white people. Legalization would help reduce this disparities.

Overall, the potential benefits of legalizing cannabis in New York are great. It remains to be seen if the state will take this step, but it is certainly something worth considering.


Cannabis is not currently legal in New York state. However, Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed legalizing cannabis in his 2020 budget proposal. If the proposal is passed by the state legislature, New York would become the 11th state to legalize recreational cannabis.

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