Is Weed Legal in New York 2021?

If you’re a cannabis enthusiast on your way to the Big Apple, you may be wondering, is weed legal in New York?

Yes, you can now legally possess and consume marijauna for medicinal and recreational use in the state of New York. But there are some nuances with the marijuana and legalization in NY you will want to know to avoid legal issues.

is weed legal in new york

The more you know the NY marijuana laws, the safer you will be when buying and consuming cannabis.

The Gentleman has put together a list of trusted and verified dispensaries where you can obtain legal weed in New York City today.

In this article you will learn and understand the important laws when trying to purchase cannabis in NYC. Also what the MMP (medical marijuna program) and MRTA (Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act) is and the most frequently asked questions about New York cannabis legalization.

Marijuana and Legalization in NY - 3 Things to know

Just because something is legal does not mean there aren’t other restrictions in place. You will want to know a few of the laws and regulations prior to buying weed in NY. 

Knowing exactly what you can and cannot do when trying to use marijuana recreationally is vital.

If you’re wondering how you can buy legal weed in NY recreationally, there are still some grey areas you should be aware of, and it’s important to understand these laws to avoid any legal troubles. 

Below are three crucial things you’ll need to know before purchasing marijuana legally in NY:

ny marijuana laws

The answer is yes, you can now walk around Manhattan, the Bronx, or Brooklyn touting a joint between your lips. When it comes to recreational weed things can get a bit tricky.

Recreational weed is now legal in NYC, but you cannot buy or sell until 2022. So how is everyone purchasing cannabis in NY legally without a medical card, you ask?

While they did make pot legal in NY to smoke medically and recreationally, the grey market of “gifting weed” is another safe option for purchasing cannabis within legal boundaries.

The Grey Market in NYC (also known as the gifting market) is where you are purchasing a non-cannabis item such as shirts, stickers, art prints, etc and you then receive the cannabis as a “Gift”. 

Keep reading to find out how to fully understand how to buy NY weed legally in the gifting community and make sure to check out our list of trusted cannabis gifting brands in NYC.

So it probably won’t be until 2022 when the markets will open and you can simply walk into a recreational dispensary and purchase some legal NY weed.

Until then, you can seek out the grey markets and be gifted weed when you buy something else from the vendor. 

You want to make sure when ordering cannabis through the gifting market, that you understand proper verbiage. Failure to do so puts you and the brand in legal jeopardy.

You want to say that you are buying something else like a t-shirt, sticker, coffee mug, or art print (Perfect time to buy those “I love NY” shirts), and receive your cannabis as a gift. 

Following this simple rule of purchasing a non-cannabis item and receiving the cannabis as a gift will protect you legally.

3. Quick Facts on NY Weed Laws

So while cannabis is legal, there are still some laws in place so things don’t get out of hand. 

For one, adults must be 21 years of age or older. So this means that you will still have to wait a few years after turning 18 before you can legally smoke NY recreational weed.

While in your home, adults 21 years or older can have up to five pounds of cannabis stored in a safe and secure area. 

Now while you are out in public an individual can have up to three ounces of weed or 24 grams  of oils for recreational use. 

If you possess more than the allotted amount, or are caught selling weed without a license then you are still at risk for a misdemeanor or felony. 

What is the New York State Medical Marijuana Program?

The Medical Marijuana Program (MMP for short) is a program that allows patients with certain serious conditions to be certified to receive medical marijuana and other cannabis products for medical use.

Patients who have become certified through their practitioner will have to apply to the department in order to receive an identification card. 

They allow the patient to have up to two caregivers to obtain and possess marijuana products on their behalf. 

The designated caregivers must also apply separately for an identification card.

It should be worth mentioning that New York does not recognize out-of-state medical marijuaana cards or certificates, and recreational is not legal.

Understanding Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act

On March 31, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA), making cannabis use legal for adults in New York State. 

This created the Office of Cannabis Management which is governed by a Cannabis Control Board to implement the law. 

The MRTA is the nation’s first comprehensive structure overseeing the production, distribution, licensing, cultivation, sale and taxes of medical marijuana, adult usage, and cannabinoid hemp in the state of New York.

NY Marijuana Laws FAQ

There are still many questions about the New York cannabis legalization, so here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Keep in mind that rules and laws can always change, but as of 2021 this is where NY legalization stands.

Like everywhere else in the world, there are still places where you cannot smoke marijuana, New York is no exception. 

Cannabis cannot be smoked in schools, Universities, work or while driving inside a car. 

Other rules can be created by localities or the state cannabis agency, making it a little more strict to consume marijuana in public. 

Smoking in your car will not be permitted, as you can be considered driving under the influence. Police can still pull you over if they believe you are under the influence and use the smell of burning weed to suspect the driver.

The officer can only search parts of the car that are readily accessible to the driver. The trunk is off-limits unless the office has probable cause that it may also harbor evidence.

But the good news is that an officer cannot simply use the smell of weed as an excuse to stop and search you.

When it comes to smoking at home as long as your landlord permits it, people can legally smoke cannabis in a private residence, hotel or motel. 

Can You Grow Marijuana in New York?

Yes, you can grow marijuana in your home as long as it is for medical or recreational use only. Cultivating up to six plants for a single adult, indoors or outdoors, with 12 plants max per household. 

But you will have to wait until 18 months after the first adult-use dispensary is open. 

Designated caregivers will also be able to grow pot legal in NY. 

Will previous Marijuana charges be expunged?

Yes, depending on the severity of the case. Low-level convictions in New York will automatically become expunged for people who have certain marijuana related records. 

While there is no specific date set in stone, sales can be expected to start sometime in 2022. State officials will have to first determine how to operate the industry; from the regulation and taxation of sales, to the distribution of licenses for cultivators, wholesalers, delivery services and retailers. 

Final Thoughts on New York Cannabis Legalization

After many years of trying to make weed legal in NY, it has finally happened. They have tried time after time to legalize marijuana, and it seems 2021 was the year to make it happen. 

Whether you are sitting at home or at a friend’s house smoking weed, there is no need to panic. NY recreational weed is legal and it’s your right to toke. 

So the next time you are taking a stroll to Manhattan or Central Park, remember that they have made pot legal in NY and you can enjoy smoking in public without worrying about being harassed or arrested.