New York’s Marijuana Law Simplified ​

Sep 28, 2021 | New York Canabis

New York’s Marijuana Law Simplified ​

three buds of primo weed, a joint, on medical container in front of keyboardMarijuana Regulation Taxation Act (MRTA)

The Marijuana Regulation Taxation Act (MRTA) legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 or older. This act will regulate the cannabis industry and provide the framework for obtaining licenses through the OCM (Office of Cannabis Management). Before OCM can issue licenses, the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) must be appointed and then must develop the licensing structures, application process and rules (as of the date of this article, the board has finally been fully appointed).

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Can I legally smoke weed in New York State?

YES!! Recreational marijuana use is now legal in the State of New York. No license is required to consume cannabis. For the most part, you can smoke weed anywhere that using tobacco products is allowed, including outside. New York’s outside use policy is very different from the policies in Colorado and California for instance, where there are prohibitions on smoking outside. New York does NOT allow use in a car even if the car is not moving. Smoking marijuana is “no longer a basis to stop, summons, or search” in NYC or elsewhere in New York!

How much cannabis can I have on me in New York state?

Individuals can possess up to 3 ounces of flower marijuana or twenty four grams of concentrated cannabis products (such as oils from plants).

How much marijuana can I have in my house in New York state?

Once the recreational grow guidelines are implemented, you will be able to have up to 5 pounds of cannabis in your house as long as it is stored using “reasonable steps” to make it secure.

Can I grow my own cannabis in my house in New York?

You will be able to grow up to six plants (3 seedlings and 3 mature plants) per adult (up to 2 adults) in your house BUT won’t be able to start growing until 18 months after the first recreational dispensary is opened in New York.

Where can I smoke weed in New York State?

You can smoke marijuana wherever you can smoke tobacco in New York (with a few exceptions such as in your car, etc.).

Can I buy weed in New York State?

You can NOT buy marijuana in New York and a license will be required to sell marijuana in New York. There isn’t a clear and exact penalty for buying less than 3 ounces of weed in New York BUT selling any amount in New York without a license to do so is still illegal.

If I can’t buy cannabis in New York State, how do I get it?

So how do you obtain marijuana legally? Well, that is an interesting question but the answer, for now, seems to be through the process of “gifting” and receiving “gifted” marijuana.

How does recreational legalization change medical marijuana access?

Access to medical marijuana will be significantly expanded to include a wider range of medical conditions to include conditions such as muscular dystrophy and Alzheimer’s disease, among others, and the current 30-day limit to patients will be doubled. Medical card holders will be able to start growing in their own homes in 6 months (see above limits on how much can be grown).

How do I get a license to grow or sell weed in New York State?

As of right now you can’t, BUT with the appointment of all members of the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) now final, the board will soon sign off on the licensing process. Stay in contact with an experienced NY Cannabis Attorney.

Jason Bost, MBA, Esq., is the managing partner of the New York offices at the Law Firm of Patel, Soltis, Cardenas and Bost, and is heads up the firm’s cannabis practice. With over thirty five years of experience in every aspect of the marijuana business (from growing, use, sales, marketing and now legal), Mr. Bost is uniquely qualified to represent cannabis businesses at every level of the industry. Mr. Bost also has over 25 years of experience in the entertainment industry and also runs the firm’s entertainment law department. Contact our offices to schedule a consultation (844) 533-3367 or email at

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