New York cannabis legalization

New York was a relative latecomer to cannabis reforms yet moved quicker than most in the switch from medical cannabis, which was made available in 2014, to recreational cannabis legalization. Ultimately, New York legalized adult-use cannabis in 2021 following several years of back-and-forth in the legislature. Under the bill—which former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed into law in March 2021—adults 21+ in New York can possess and consume cannabis anywhere that they can legally consume tobacco. The law also includes expungement opportunities for prior cannabis convictions.

Cannabis industry overview

The state has been tasked with establishing an adult-use cannabis market including a 9% state and 4% local tax. 40% of cannabis industry tax revenue is earmarked for reinvesting in communities most heavily affected by drug prohibition laws, 40% for public education, and 20% for drug treatment/prevention causes.

Cannabis possession rules

  • Adults aged 21+ can possess up to three ounces of cannabis in New York.
  • Home growing in New York is not currently allowed but the state is expected to establish rules later for up to six plants per adult with a max of 12-per-household.

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