Marijuana Laws in New York:
In the state of New York, cannabis is labeled under the New York Public Health Law as a Schedule I hallucinogenic substance. The same goes for synthetic equivalents, which include resinous derivatives and extracts with chemical properties similar to marijuana.
To some degree, New York has decriminalized cannabis. Typically, this means no criminal record or required prison time for first-time marijuana offenders found with small amounts for personal use. Related offenses are treated more like minor traffic violations than major crimes.
New York has enacted medical marijuana laws. Patients are given 30-day supplies of non-smokable cannabis preparations to help treat various diseases and conditions, such as epilepsy, cancer, ALS, MS, Parkinson’s Disease and more. The cannabis-based preparations must be purchased from state-licensed marijuana dispensaries.
Possessing Marijuana in New York
Because of New York’s decriminalization process, first-time offenders don’t face such harsh penalties as in the past. Other offenders, however, do face strict penalties:
• First-time offenders with less than 25 grams = $100 fine, no jail time
• Second offense within 3 years of the first one and less than 25 grams = $200 fine, no jail time
• Third or subsequent offense within 3-years’ time with less than 25 grams = $250 fine and up to 15 days in jail
• Between 25 grams and 2 ounces = Misdemeanor: Up to $500 fine and up to 3 months’ incarceration
• Between 2 to 8 ounces = Misdemeanor: Up to $1,000 fine and up to 1 year in jail
• Between 8 to 16 ounces = Felony: Up to $5,000 fine and up to 4 years of imprisonment
• Between 16 ounces and 10 pounds = Felony: Up to $5,000 fine and up to a 7-year prison sentence
• More than 10 pounds = Felony: Up to $15,000 in fines and up to 15 years in prison
Selling Marijuana in New York
In the state of New York, it is illegal to sell cannabis. The sale of certain derivatives in only legal for state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. Penalties for selling cannabis in New York are as follows:
• Less than 1 marijuana cigarette or 2 grams exchanged without payment = Misdemeanor: Up to 3 months’ incarceration
• Less than 25 grams = Misdemeanor: Up to $1,000 fine and up to 1 year in jail
• Between 25 grams to 4 ounces = Felony: Up to $5,000 fine and up to 4 years of imprisonment
• Between 4 ounces to 16 ounces = Felony: Up to $5,000 fine and up to 7 years of incarceration
• More than 16 ounces = Felony: Up to $15,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison
• Sell any amount to a minor under 18 years old = Felony: Up to $5,000 fine and up to 7 years in prison
• Using minor to assist with selling = Felony: Up to $5,000 fine and up to 4 years in jail
Drug trafficking carries steep penalties in New York. Major trafficking is a felony which carries fines up to $100,000 and up 15-25 years in prison. A person is deemed a major marijuana trafficker if acting as the director of an organization where one or more of the following conditions exists:
• Completes $75,000 in cannabis sales within a year or less
• Collects over $75,000 is sales from marijuana over a 6-month period of less
Growing and Manufacturing Marijuana in New York
According to the New York Public Health Law, it’s a misdemeanor to cultivate cannabis within the state’s boundaries. This offense is punishable by up to as $100 fine and up to 1 year in prison. These offenders are also guilty of possession of marijuana as well and face those penalties as well.
Parmeter v. Feinberg makes it possible for the state of New York to charge an offender with the crimes of “possession” and “cultivation” if that person is caught growing cannabis. Therefore, the more marijuana someone grows, the more they are in possession of, making the charges more severe.
Using Marijuana in New York
New York State has medical marijuana laws that allow patients to use derivatives of the drug for relief purposes. The following are qualifying conditions approved in New York for medical cannabis:
• Parkinson’s disease
• Huntington’s disease
• Spinal cord injuries and damage
• Multiple sclerosis
• Inflammatory bowel disease
• Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Patients prescribed medical marijuana products in New York are limited to non-smokable derivatives. They must buy cannabis-based goods are one of the state-licensed dispensing centers, where they can get a 30-day supply.
New York’s cannabis laws also allow each of these patients to appoint up to two certified caregivers. This gives the caregiver the right to shop for and buy medical marijuana products for the patients care.
New York Hemp Law
This state takes parts in authorized research related to the hemp industry. Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa L species, which contains no more than 1% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). New York’s Hemp Law was enacted through Senate Bill 7047, which took effect on June 15, 2015.
Senate Bill 707 allows authorized growers to cultivate industrial hemp for farming and business research purposes. Registered and certified higher education institutes and the Department of Agriculture & Markets can study industrial hemp’s growth and cultivation. It’s strictly prohibited by law to sell products created for these research purposes.
THC is the primary psychoactive found in cannabis, which is responsible for the euphoric high. Having low THC levels and high CBD (cannabidiol) levels means getting the benefits of the healing and pain relieving properties of cannabis, without the euphoric feeling.
The state of New York considers the sale or possession of paraphernalia used to measure and weigh marijuana a misdemeanor. For first time offenders, selling or possessing balances and scales for these purposes is punishable by up to 1 year in jail.
Breaking the Marijuana Laws in New York
New York follows mandatory minimum sentencing policies. In such cases, presiding judges have no choice but to sentence a convicted criminal to no less than the minimum sentence allowed by law. If these offenders are sentenced to prison time, they will not be eligible for parole releases until the minimum mandatory sentence is complete in full.
If convicted of a felony cannabis offense in New York, the offender may have to forfeit any and all proceeds made from the offense. Some judges will require the offender to also forfeit cars and other property acquired from marijuana sells or used in a cannabis offense.