The New York Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has been formulating a number of rules and regulations surrounding cannabis (what it terms “marijuana”) use and possession in the State. Here are some fast facts around what is legal vs. illegal under New York’s Cannabis Program, in the form of fun True or False questions, with further explanations below:
|You must be over 21 years of age to possess cannabis.
|Adults can possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of concentrate.
|Adults are permitted to consume cannabis in all areas where tobacco can be consumed.
|Adults may share cannabis legally with other adults.
|Adults may grow a limited number of cannabis plants in their home as part of the State’s at-home cultivation program.
|You are not permitted to cross state lines with cannabis, including medical cannabis.
|If caught driving under the influence of cannabis, you may get a DUI.
|Adults are permitted to consume cannabis purchased in New York on New York federal land.
|Adults are permitted to consume cannabis and tobacco in New York State Parks and New York State public outdoor spaces.
- You must be over 21 years of age to possess cannabis.
FALSE. According to the OCM, you may be 21 years of age or older to possess cannabis. Cannabis possession is not limited to OVER 21. Small distinction, but big difference!
- Adults can possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of concentrate.
TRUE. At this time, the rules provide that adults 21 years or older may consume up to 3 ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of concentrate (such as edibles and oil).
- Adults are permitted to consume cannabis in all areas where tobacco can be consumed.
FALSE. While adults are permitted to consume cannabis in most areas where tobacco can be consumed, this is limited. Adults 21 years or older are permitted to consume cannabis in a private home or in most places where tobacco can be consumed, with the exception of a motor vehicle, private business (such as restaurants, including patios of restaurants!), hookah bars, cigar bars or federal property.
- Adults may share cannabis legally with other adults.
TRUE (kind of). Sharing cannabis between adults is permitted, but there are a few important qualifications to this: (1) it must be shared between adults 21 years old and older; (2) it is shared without compensation; (3) sharing must still be under the legal possession limit; and (4) it cannot be done with a sale of a service or commodity.
Let’s break these down. These rules mean that you cannot be an adult sharing with minors. It also means that you cannot sell your cannabis to another adult. Sharing must be uncompensated. Further, you must ensure that what you share is under the legal possession limit (see question 2, above). Finally, “gifting” is still prohibited. Gifting is a term to describe the sale of a service or commodity associated with sharing. By example, if person A purchases socks from person B and B hands him the socks and gives him cannabis for free with that purchase, that is called “gifting” and is illegal. Gifting has been a method used by individuals and companies to skirt the regulations surrounding cannabis in New York. Sharing = Good; Gifting = Bad.
If you do want to make money selling cannabis to your friends, check out how you can get involved in New York’s cannabis business licensing program!
- Adults may grow a limited number of cannabis plants in their home as part of the State’s at-home cultivation program.
FALSE UNTIL OCTOBER 5, 2022. Okay, this one could actually be true depending on when you’re reading this. The OCM released its FAQs and provided that certified medical cannabis patients and designated caregivers aged 21 years or older, registered within the medical cannabis program of New York, may cultivate medical cannabis as of October 5, 2022.
- You are not permitted to cross state lines with cannabis, including medical cannabis.
TRUE. This one doesn’t require much explanation. In no state are you permitted to cross state lines with cannabis. Even if you are traveling from one legal state to another legal state, the crossing of state lines is the illegal act. This is because cannabis is still a federally illegal drug (don’t get us started on our rant around why cannabis should not be considered a Schedule I drug), and because it is still federally illegal, you cannot cross state lines with it. That is still considered drug (cannabis) trafficking (crossing state lines).
- If caught driving under the influence of cannabis, you may get a DUI.
TRUE. It is illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis. The State of New York believes that cannabis can slow motor coordination and other skills needed to drive safely. Comparing it to alcohol, the State of New York believes that you are at risk of hurting yourself and others when driving behind the wheel after consuming cannabis.
- Adults are permitted to consume cannabis purchased in on New York federal land.
FALSE. Because cannabis is federally illegal, consuming cannabis on federal land is not permitted. Even if federal land is located in a cannabis-legal state like New York, it is still prohibited.
- Adults are permitted to consume cannabis and tobacco in New York State Parks and New York State public outdoor spaces.
TRUE UNTIL OCTOBER 13, 2022. New York recently passed a law that prohibits smoking cannabis and tobacco in all New York State Parks and other New York public outdoor spaces, effective October 13, 2022. Local municipalities have been granted the authority to impose a $50 maximum civil penalty to individuals who violate these laws.
As New Yorks cannabis industry develops and it finalizes its rules, these requirements are subject to change. Check back with us to learn about updates as they are released by the State! If you’re more of a social media person, we’ve got some fun videos and images posted on our Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, etc. And of course, we are always available for questions you may have. Contact us at Canna Business Services for a free 15-minute consultation to learn more about the New York adult-use cannabis industry!