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Here’s What New York Can Expect After Legalizing Cannabis


New York became one of the four states to legalize medicinal cannabis in 2021 when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed it into law. Under the new law, you can also own a very small amount for recreational use. The third major proponent of this law is that it expunges the records of all individuals who previously had a marijuana-related conviction.

NY and Medicinal Cannabis

Many states have already made CBD legal since it has proven medical uses. More than that, they have also legalized it for other uses. In all, 35 of the US’s 50 states have some type of marijuana legalization. About 85% of legal cannabis consumption prescriptions doctors write to help treat pain.

NY’s new law lets New Yorkers possess up to three ounces of cannabis for recreational use. You can possess unlimited amounts of CBD for actual medical use in other states. Under NY law, you can keep up to five pounds of cannabis at your home.

The law does not yet provide for legal sales. You can possess cannabis, but you can’t buy it there, so you would need to purchase it in a different state or grow it yourself. The state does plan to make it legal to sell it, but that part isn’t yet worked out. Shops will need to have a license in order to sell cannabis.

The law doesn’t yet have manufacturing guidelines. This leaves an opening for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, which apply to manufacturing risky drugs. Therefore, you should make sure your Geico life insurance is up to date before partaking in any new drug.

Any person injured by bad cannabis that contains other substances could reasonably expect to spend about 4.5 days in the hospital, the average stay in the US. The individual might recover, in which they would file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the money they had to spend on hospital bills, time lost from work, etc.

The law does include penalties for possessing more than the law allows for marijuana. These violations range from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Individuals may legally smoke cannabis in private residences except in a rental unit in which the landlord prohibits drug use or smoking. Hotels and motels can also limit use within their structures. Any location in the state of NY that currently legally allows the use of smoking apparatuses will also allow cannabis consumption.

Licensing for Dispensaries

The law also includes an option for localities to opt out of brick-and-mortar dispensaries. If, for instance, New Paltz did not want dispensaries, they could choose to ban them. If White Plains wanted to encourage dispensaries, they could do so by passing an ordinance that offered some added amenities such as a tax break.

Each dispensary will need a separate on-site consumption license, otherwise, its customers cannot consume their purchases on-site. Another license will enable the dispensary to deliver cannabis orders to its customers.

DUI/DWI Applies to Cannabis Use

Driving under the influence remains illegal. Just as it is against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol, you cannot drive under the influence of marijuana. The police have the right to pull over any person they believe to be impaired. You would then need to submit to a field sobriety test. You can be charged and jailed for DUI/DWI. If you’re parked in public or at a stop of some sort and the police can smell weed or cannabis in your car, this provides them with cause to suspect a driver is driving impaired. They can only search where the driver can reach, so the trunk remains safe. The NY Health Department will investigate devices that law enforcement can use to conduct a saliva test to know for certain whether the driver is high and how high.