The Legalization of the Recreational Use of Marijuana

NY Marijuana Legalization: A High Point for Proponents

Trainor Law PLLC
July 14, 2021

The Legalization of Recreational Marijuana in NY

On March 31, 2021, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act legalizing recreational use and possession of marijuana. Under the law, two new government agencies, the Cannabis Control Board and the Office of Cannabis Management, are being created to issue licenses for dispensaries and producers and collect sales tax.

While some parts of the law became effective immediately, other aspects will take several years to take effect.

What Does This Mean?

As of March 31, 2021, New Yorkers 21 years of age and older can:

  1. Possess up to three ounces of marijuana on their person, including within vehicles.
  2. Smoke marijuana publicly and privately where cigarette smoking is allowed; marijuana may not be consumed in a vehicle however.
  3. Apply to have their criminal record expunged for certain prior marijuana related convictions.
  4. Store up to five pounds of cannabis in their private residence provided that they take reasonable steps to make sure it is stored in a secure place.

The Office of Cannabis Management will be drafting and implementing regulations so that, in the near future, individuals may be allowed to:

  1.  Cultivate up to six mature plants at home, indoors or outdoors, and may have up to six immature plants for a maximum of twelve plants total per household. (It is expected that this will be in effect within18 months after the first adult-use dispensary opens).
  2. Medical marijuana patients, or their designated caregivers, will also be able to grow cannabis for medicinal use, at home, within six months from now.

What We Don’t Know Yet

Still to be determined:

  1. Which municipalities will allow dispensaries to operate in their towns?
  2. Who will be awarded licenses to grow marijuana and what will the licensing fee be?
  3. If the locations of dispensaries will be restricted to certain areas of towns?
  4. Will towns need to hire additional local law enforcement officers to regulate compliance with the new law?
  5. Will farmers be able to grow marijuana outside?

Stay tuned as we will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to be educational and is not intended to be legal advice, which can only be given after an attorney-client relationship is established.

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