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NY Marijuana Laws

June 19, 2014, Assembly Bill 6357, was approved and signed into law by the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on July 05, 2014 (effective upon signature), effectively removing all state-level criminal penalties on the use and possession of marijuana by patients in possession of a written letter from a physician stating that he or she may benefit from the medical use of marijuana for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments.

To qualify for the New York Medical Marijuana Program, patients must be diagnosed with a severe and debilitating or life-threatening condition that is accompanied by an associated or complicating condition, and receive a written certification from a certified physician with whom the patient has a bonafide doctor relationship.

Physicians are required to complete a four-hour New York State Department of Health (department-approved) course, as well as register directly with the Department as a course accredited physician, qualified to certify patients, in order to become a certified medical marijuana physician in New York.
Under the New York medical marijuana law, the smoking of cannabis as a delivery method is strictly prohibited, and patients are also prohibited from cultivating and having access to any plant material.

November 11, 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill, enabling an expedited certification process for patients who are seriously il, and the subsequently allows marijuana producers to register “as expeditiously as practicable”.

January 07, 2016, with the opening of eight (of the expected twenty) dispensaries statewide, the New York medical marijuana program officially launches.

In August 2017, the NY medical marijuana program was expanded to include new products, new dispensary procedures, a shortened certification process for doctors, and changes that will make growing medical marijuana legal. Patients will be able to walk into dispensaries and speak with an RO representative about their treatment options. Further, doctors will be able to take a two-hour long version of the online certification program, a faster way to get certified to recommend medical marijuana. Physicians will still have to meet the following qualifications: qualified to treat patients with qualifying conditions, licensed and in good standing with the state of NY, and registration for the DOH after completing the course. The expansion of the NY program was approved and goes into effect in Dec 2017.

In September 2017, patients will be able to use lotions, ointments, chewables, lozenges, and patches to treat qualifying conditions. However, the state program continues to only allow non-smokable forms of medical marijuana.

As of October 2017, hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities can register as caregivers in order to obtain medical marijuana for patients in facilities who are unable to receive their medical marijuana themselves.

In June 2018, the New York State Department Health included opioid use in the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. This was further expanded in July 2018 when emergency regulations made any condition for which an opioid could be prescribed a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.

New York Medical Marijuana Law

“The New York Medical Marijuana Program” — ASSEMBLY BILL 6357 

IN ASSEMBLY March 26, 2013

Introduced by M. of A. GOTTFRIED, LUPARDO, CAHILL, CASTRO, CLARK, CYMBROWITZ, DINOWITZ, HEVESI, LAVINE, PAULIN, PEOPLES-STOKES, ROSEN- THAL, STEVENSON, TITONE, ARROYO, BOYLAND, BRONSON, BROOK-KRASNY, COOK, CRESPO, DenDEKKER, ESPINAL, FAHY, JAFFEE, KAVANAGH, LIFTON, O’DONNELL, OTIS, RIVERA, ROBERTS, SKARTADOS, STECK, WEPRIN, ZEBROWSKI — Multi- Sponsored by — M. of A. ABINANTI, AUBRY, BRAUNSTEIN, BRENNAN, FARRELL, GALEF, GLICK, HIKIND, JACOBS, KELLNER, V. LOPEZ, MAGEE, MAISEL, MARKEY, McDONALD, MILLMAN, MOYA, PRETLOW, ROBINSON, RODRIGUEZ, SCARBOROUGH, SCHIMEL, SWEENEY, WEISENBERG, WRIGHT — read once and referred to the Committee on Health

AN ACT to amend the public health law, the tax law, the general business law and the penal law, in relation to medical use of marihuana

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  1. 1  Section 1. Legislative findings and intent. The legislature finds that
  2. 2  thousands of New Yorkers have serious medical conditions that can be
  3. 3  improved by medically-approved use of marihuana. The law should not
  4. 4  stand between them and treatment necessary for life and health. This
  5. 5  legislation follows the well-established public policy that a controlled
  6. 6  substance can have a legitimate medical use. Many controlled substances
  7. 7  that are legal for medical use (such as morphine and steroids) are ille-
  8. 8  gal for any other use. The purposes of article 33 of the public health
  9. 9  law include allowing legitimate use of controlled substances in health
  10. 10  care, including palliative care. This policy and this legislation do not
  11. 11  in any way diminish New York state’s strong public policy and laws
  12. 12  against illegal drug use, nor should it be deemed in any manner to advo-
  13. 13  cate, authorize, promote, or legally or socially accept the use of mari-
  14. 14  huana for children or adults, for any non-medical use. This legislation
  15. 15  is an appropriate exercise of the state’s legislative power to protect
  16. 16  the health of its people under article 17 of the state constitution and
  17. 17  the tenth amendment of the United States constitution.EXPLANATION–Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted.

READ MORE — New York Medical Marijuana Program [FULL TEXT]

New York Marijuana Possession and Cultivation Law

  • Marijuana and its synthetic “equivalents” are considered a Schedule I narcotic substance under New York’s Public Health Law. Synthetic equivalents include resinous extracts and cannabis derivatives that contain similar chemical properties.
  • For a first-time offender, the possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana is considered punishable by a fine of $100. If an additional offense occurs within three years of the first marijuana offense, possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana is punishable by a fine of $200. For the third or subsequent offense(s) within a three-year period, possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana is punishable by a fine of $250 and/or imprisonment of 15 days or less. Possession of marijuana in excess of 25 grams but less than 2 ounces is a class B misdemeanor and is punishable by no more than 3 months imprisonment. Possession of marijuana in excess of 2 ounces but less than 8 ounces is a class A misdemeanor and is punishable by no more than 1 year of imprisonment. Possession of marijuana in excess of 8 ounces but less than 16 ounces is a class E felony and is punishable by no more than 4 years of imprisonment. Possession of marijuana in excess of 16 ounces but less than 10 pounds is a class D felony and is punishable by no more than 7 years of imprisonment. Possession of marijuana in excess of 10 pounds is a class C felony and is punishable by no more than 15 years of imprisonment.
  • Growing cannabis is a class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 1 year of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1000. *While technically cultivation of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor, a person who cultivates marijuana is also “possessing” marijuana under current case law. Parmeter v. Feinberg affirms the state’s ability to charge a person with the crime of “cultivation” and “possession” any time a person is caught growing marijuana. This means the more marijuana that a person cultivates the more severe the degree of possession that the state can charge.”

New York Marijuana Distribution Law

  • Exchange without payment of fewer than 2 grams of marijuana and/or one marijuana cigarette is a class B misdemeanor and is punishable by no more than 3 months imprisonment.
  • Sale of marijuana in any amount to a person under 18 years of age is a class D felony and is punishable by up to 7 years of imprisonment.
  • Sale of marijuana in an amount less than 25 grams is a class A misdemeanor and is punishable by no more than 1 year of imprisonment. Sale of marijuana in an amount greater than 25 grams but less than 4 ounces is a class E felony and is punishable by up to 4 years of imprisonment. Sale of marijuana in an amount greater than 4 ounces but less than 16 ounces is a class D felony and is punishable by up to 7 years of imprisonment. Sale of marijuana in excess of 16 ounces is a class C felony and is punishable by up to 15 years of imprisonment.
  • Using a child to assist in the sale of marijuana is a class E felony and is punishable by no more than 4 years of imprisonment. This offense includes hiding marijuana on a child or otherwise directing a child to assist in a marijuana sale.

New York Marijuana Trafficking Law

  • A person is considered a major trafficker of marijuana if they do one of the following: Act as the director of an organization, which sells $75000 worth of marijuana over the course of a year or less; collect $75000 or more from sales of marijuana over the course of 6 months or less; possess with intent to sell $75000 or more of marijuana over the course of 6 months or less. If one or more of the above are satisfied the person may be charged as a major trafficker, this is a class A-I felony and is punishable by 15-25 years of imprisonment.

New York Hash & Concentrates Law

  • The term ‘Marihuana’ as used in the New York Criminal code is defined as including both plant-form Marihuana and Concentrated Cannabis. Marihuana is listed as a Schedule 1 drug on the New York Controlled Substances Schedule. Concentrated Cannabis is defined as the separated resin of the Cannabis plant, whether purified or raw, or any mixture or preparation containing at least 2.5% THC. Unlike most other states, New York uses the term Tetrahydrocannabinols exclusively to refer to synthetic cannabinoids, not Concentrates. New York does not apply its Marihuana decriminalization law to Concentrated Cannabis. There is no explicit justification for this in the statute, but specific penalties for offenses involving Concentrated Cannabis are separated from those involving plant-form Marihuana and the distinction is noted in case law.

New York Marijuana Possession Penalties

  • For a first offender, possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana is punishable by a fine of $100.
  • For the 2nd offense within three years of the first offense, possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana is punishable by a fine of $200.
  • For the third or subsequent offense(s) within a three-year period, possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana is punishable by a fine of $250 and/or imprisonment of 15 days or less. Possession of marijuana in excess of 25 grams but less than 2 ounces is a class B misdemeanor and is punishable by no more than 3 months imprisonment.
  • Possession of marijuana in excess of 2 ounces but less than 8 ounces is a class A misdemeanor and is punishable by no more than 1 year of imprisonment.
  • Possession of marijuana in excess of 8 ounces but less than 16 ounces is a class E felony and is punishable by no more than 4 years of imprisonment. Possession of marijuana in excess of 16 ounces but less than 10 pounds is a class D felony and is punishable by no more than 7 years of imprisonment. Possession of marijuana in excess of 10 pounds is a class C felony and is punishable by no more than 15 years of imprisonment.

New York Marijuana Intent To Sell Penalties

  • Exchange without payment of fewer than 2 grams of marijuana and/or one marijuana cigarette is a class B misdemeanor and is punishable by no more than 3 months imprisonment.
  • Sale of marijuana in any amount to a person under 18 years of age is a class D felony and is punishable by up to 7 years of imprisonment.
  • Sale of marijuana in an amount less than 25 grams is a class A misdemeanor and is punishable by no more than 1 year of imprisonment. Sale of marijuana in an amount greater than 25 grams but less than 4 ounces is a class E felony and is punishable by up to 4 years of imprisonment. Sale of marijuana in an amount greater than 4 ounces but less than 16 ounces is a class D felony and is punishable by up to 7 years of imprisonment. Sale of marijuana in excess of 16 ounces is a class C felony and is punishable by up to 15 years of imprisonment.

New York Marijuana Cultivation Penalties

  • Growing cannabis is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 1 year of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1000.

New York Marijuana Paraphernalia Penalties

  • Possession or sale of scales or balances for the purpose of weighing or measuring marijuana is a class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 1 year of imprisonment. Any subsequent conviction of possession or sale of paraphernalia is a class D felony and is punishable by up to 7 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5000.

* Please note: A person is considered a major trafficker of marijuana if they do one of the following:

Act as the director of an organization, which sells $75000 worth of marijuana over the course of a year or less; collect $75000 or more from sales of marijuana over the course of 6 months or less; possess with intent to sell $75000 or more of marijuana over the course of 6 months or less. If one or more of the above are satisfied the person may be charged as a major trafficker, this is a class A-I felony and is punishable by 15-25 years of imprisonment.

* If convicted of a felony offense the following may be forfeited, unless the forfeiture would be disproportionate from what the defendant gained from the offense: the proceeds from the offense, instruments used in the offense (including a car).

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Offense

Penalty

Incarceration

Max. Fine

Possession

Less than 25 g. (First offense)

N/A

N/A

$100

Less than 25 g. (Second offense)

N/A

N/A

$200

Less than 25 g. (Third offense)

N/A

15 days

$250

25 g. – 2 oz.

Misdemeanor

3 months

$250

2 oz. – 8 oz.

Misdemeanor

1 year

$250

8 oz. – 1 lb.

Felony

4 years

$250

1 lb. – 10 lbs.

Felony

7 years

$250

More than 10 lbs.

Felony

15 years

$250

In public view

Misdemeanor

90 days

$250

Sale

Less than 2 g. without profit

Misdemeanor

3 months

$500

Less than 25 g.

Misdemeanor

1 year

$1,000

25 g. – 4 oz.

Felony

4 years

$5,000

4 oz. – 1 lb.

Felony

7 years

$5,000

More 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

Trafficking

Any Amount

Felony

15-25 years

N/A

* Mandatory minimum sentence.

Cultivation

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 up to 1/4 oz.

Misdemeanor

1 year

$1,000

Possession of 1/4 – 1 oz.

Felony

7 years

$5,000

Possession of 1 oz. or more

Felony

15 years

$15,000

Sale

Felony

15 years

$15,000

Paraphernalia

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

Finally, a helpful & informative website! MarijuanaDoctors.com answered all of my medical marijuana questions and helped me schedule an appointment with an accredited doctor in my area.~Susan - Denver, CO