New Yorkers may be residents of one of the states that has decriminalized possession of a modest amount of marijuana but they should still be aware of local paraphernalia laws.
Medical marijuana is permitted in New York, and possession of small amounts is decriminalized for personal use. Even so, arrest rates have historically been very high in the Empire State. That is changing, but penalties for serious crimes remain harsh.
Possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana (slightly less than an ounce) is a civil violation in New York, punishable by a $100 fine on a first offense. On a second offense, the fine is $200, while a third violation carries a $250 fine and a possible 15-day jail term.
Possession of any amount in public view is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of three months in jail and $250. Police have long used this loophole to trick people into displaying their cannabis so they can be arrested for possession of small amounts. Officials have promised to curb the practice.
Possession of between 25 grams and 2 ounces is a misdemeanor in New York and is punishable by up to three months in jail and $500. If the amount is between 2 and 8 ounces, the maximum penalty is one year in jail plus $1,000.
Possession of between 8 ounces and one pound is a felony and carries a top penalty of four years in prison plus $5,000. Possession of 1 to 10 pounds is punishable by up to seven years in prison and $5,000. And possession of more than 10 pounds carries a maximum term of 15 years in prison plus $15,000 in fines.
Any sale of marijuana is a crime in New York. If the amount is less than 2 grams and there is no profit, the offense is a misdemeanor and the top penalty is three months in jail and $500 in fines.
Sale of less than 25 grams for profit is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and $1,000. It is a felony, meanwhile, to sell between 25 grams and 4 ounces, and the maximum term for that offense is four years in prison and $5,000. If the amount is between 4 ounces and 1 pound, the maximum sentence increases to seven years and $5,000.
Sale of more than 1 pound of cannabis carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and $15,000 in fines. Using a child to assist in the sale of cannabis carries a maximum of four years and $5,000. Selling to a minor is punishable by up to seven years and $5,000.
It is also a felony to traffic any amount of marijuana. Conviction comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 25 years.
It is illegal to grow cannabis in New York for any purpose. Growing any number of plants is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. Growers can be charged with both cultivation and possession of the same product, so penalties may be even greater.
Hash and Concentrates
Hashish, hash oil, and other marijuana concentrates are subject to special rules in New York. Possession of up to a quarter ounce of concentrate is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines.
Possessing between a quarter ounce and 1 ounce of concentrate is a felony and comes with a top penalty of seven years in prison and $5,000. The penalty for possession of more than 1 ounce of concentrate is 15 years in prison and $15,000.
It is illegal to use, possess, or sell marijuana paraphernalia in New York. Paraphernalia includes any items used in the cultivation, harvesting, processing, storage, analysis, testing, or use of marijuana.
Possession or sale of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, and the maximum sentence is one year in jail, $1,000 in fines, or both. On subsequent convictions the top penalty includes up to seven years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
Medical marijuana in New York was signed into law in 2014, and the Department of Health is currently in the process of establishing regulations and registering dispensaries. The law will automatically expire after seven years.
Qualifying conditions – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Cancer, Epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, Huntingdon’s disease, Inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Neuropathies, Spinal cord damage
Patient possession limits – 30-day supply. Only non-smokable preparations are allowed
Home cultivation – No
State-licensed dispensaries – Yes. Five producers of cannabis preparations and up to 20 dispensaries are permitted to be licensed by the state.
Caregivers – No
Reciprocity – No
|25 g or less (first offense)||Not Classified||N/A||$ 100|
|25 g or less (second offense)||Not Classified||N/A||$ 200|
|25 g or less (third offense)||Not Classified||15 days||$ 250|
|More than 25 g – 2 oz||Misdemeanor||3 months||$ 500|
|More than 2 – 8 oz||Misdemeanor||1 year||$ 1,000|
|More than 8 oz – 1 lb||Felony||4 years||$ 5,000|
|More than 1 – 10 lbs||Felony||7 years||$ 5,000|
|More than 10 lbs||Felony||15 years||$ 15,000|
|In public view||Misdemeanor||90 days||$ 250|
|2 g or less without profit or 1 marihuana cigarette||Misdemeanor||3 months||$ 500|
|25 g or less||Misdemeanor||1 year||$ 1,000|
|More than 25 g – 4 oz||Felony||4 years||$ 5,000|
|More than 4 oz – 1 lb||Felony||7 years||$ 5,000|
|More than 1 lb||Felony||15 years||$ 15,000|
|Using a child to assist||Felony||4 years||$ 5,000|
|To a minor||Felony||7 years||$ 5,000|
|Any amount||Felony||15* – 25 years||$ 100,000|
|* Mandatory minimum sentence|
|Any amount||Misdemeanor||1 year||$ 1,000|
|Cultivating marijuana is also possessing marijuana under current case law. See penalty details section below.|
Hash & Concentrates
|Possession of less than 1/4 oz||Misdemeanor||1 year||$ 1,000|
|Possession of 1/4 – less than 1 oz||Felony||7 years||$ 5,000|
|Possession of 1 oz or more||Felony||15 years||$ 15,000|
|Sale||Felony||15 years||$ 15,000|
|Possession or sale of scales or balances for the purpose of weighing or measuring marijuana||Misdemeanor||1 year||N/A|
|Subsequent offense||Felony||7 years||$ 5,000|
Civil Asset Forfeiture
|Property can be seized if convicted of a felony.|
|Mandatory driver’s license suspension of 6 months for youthful offenders.|