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New York Marijuana Penalties

Updated on January 3, 2019.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

New York’s medical marijuana program has been in operation since 2014, but the Empire State has yet to decriminalize the use of marijuana for recreational use. So, you must know the penalties attached to possession, distribution and cultivation of various quantities of marijuana to stay within the law.

Possession for Personal Use

First-time offenders found with at least 25g of marijuana are punished with a $100 fine. If the same person commits the offense again within three years after the initial offense, it is punishable by a $200 fine. A third offense by the same person within three years is subject to 15 days in prison and a $250 fine.

Holding on to between 25g and two ounces of marijuana is classified as a class B misdemeanor. This offense is subject to a maximum of three months in jail and a fine that does not exceed $500. If the quantity of marijuana is between two and eight ounces, it is regarded as a Class A offense punishable by a maximum jail term of one year and a maximum fine of $1,000.

Possessing more than eight ounces but less than 16 ounces is a Class E offense punishable by a maximum jail sentence of four years and a maximum fine of $5,000. Being found with a quantity of marijuana between 16 ounces and 10 pounds is a class D offense punishable by a maximum prison sentence of seven years and a fine of $5,000. If the amount held is greater than 10 pounds, it attracts a 15-year jail term and a fine not greater than $15,000.

Sale and Distribution

Sharing less than two grams of marijuana and a marijuana cigarette with another person without any payment is punishable by a jail term of three months. Selling marijuana of any quantity to someone who is under 18 years of age means seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.

If the amount of marijuana sold is greater than four ounces but less than 16 ounces, the offender will serve a seven-year jail term and pay a maximum fine of $5,000. Selling more than 16 ounces of marijuana is punishable by a maximum fine of $15,000 and a prison sentence of 15 years.

Using a minor to assist in selling marijuana is subject to four years in jail and a maximum fine of $5,000. This offense also includes hiding marijuana on a minor or asking a child to assist in the sale of marijuana.


Growing marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by one year of imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. Under current New York laws, an individual who grows marijuana can also be charged with possession. The greater the amount of marijuana a person grows, the greater the penalty for possession.

These laws are changing and Marijuana Doctors is putting together updates as the medical marijuana program expands. As of August 2017, five companies have been licensed to grow medical marijuana as part of the program. Please check back with Marijuana Doctors about additional information about these companies.

Connect With Licensed Marijuana Doctors in New York

New York’s medical marijuana regulations permit you to hold a month’s supply of marijuana to treat any qualifying medical condition, but this requires proper registration with the state’s department of health. You also need to be certified by a licensed doctor in New York.

We have designed a fast and reliable search system to help you connect with the strictly-vetted doctors in our network. By typing in your zip code, you can get a list of doctors working in your community.

In each listing, you’ll see the doctor’s business hours, terms of service, fees and reviews provided by other patients. Use our online booking system to make an instant request for an appointment with one of our doctors today.

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