New York allows the medicinal use of marijuana, and has decriminalized possession of small amounts for recreation. Full legalization is looking increasingly likely.
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 two ounces is a misdemeanor in New York and is punishable by up to three months in jail and $500. If the amount is between two and eight ounces, the maximum penalty is one year in jail plus $1,000.
Possession of between eight ounces and one pound is a felony and carries a top penalty of four years in prison plus $5,000. Possession of one 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 two 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 four ounces, and the maximum term for that offense is four years in prison and $5,000. If the amount is between four ounces and one pound, the maximum sentence increases to seven years and $5,000.
Sale of more than one 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, plus up to $100,000 in fines.
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 one ounce of concentrate is a felony and comes with a top penalty of seven years in prison and $5,000. The maximum penalty for possession of more than one 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 $5,000 in fines.
Medical marijuana in New York was signed into law in 2014. The law will automatically expire after seven years unless renewed by state legislature.
Qualifying conditions –
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Chronic pain
- Huntington’s Disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Opioid substitution
- Spinal cord damage
Patient possession limits – 30-day supply. Only non-smokable preparations are allowed
Home cultivation – No
State-licensed dispensaries – Yes. Initially, 5 producers of cannabis preparations and up to 20 dispensaries are permitted to be licensed by the state. In 2017, an additional 5 entities where licensed to cultivate and dispense marijuana.
Caregivers – Yes. Each qualifying patients may have support of up to two caregivers, and each caregiver may not serve any more than five patients.
Reciprocity – No
|25 g or less (first offense)||Not Classified||N/A||$ 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.|