Here’s what you need to know now that marijuana is legal in New York State.
Proponents argue that the rule allows marijuana to be smoked anyplace tobacco can be legally smoked; many indoor and outdoor settings currently prohibit smoking.
ALBANY, N.Y. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill ending New York’s criminal war on mail order marijuana into law on Wednesday, more than 50 years after the fight to legalize marijuana began at the State Capitol.
It is now legal to possess up to three ounces of marijuana as of Thursday. Marijuana sales are remain prohibited in New York State for the time being.
On Tuesday night, the Democratic-controlled Legislature passed the bill, primarily along party lines, and it was rushed to the governor for his signing on Wednesday morning.
It proposes for the legalization of up to 3 ounces of marijuana, as well as a new state-run system that will allow for the legal cultivation, processing, distribution, sales, and use of marijuana in around two years. It creates a new pot of money – 40% of the state’s projected $350 million in annual sales and excise tax revenues – to be distributed for various health, education, infrastructure, and job-creation programs in low-income, minority communities that are disproportionately affected by disproportionately high rates of arrest and incarceration of mostly young people.
Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, a Buffalo Democrat and author of the bill in the Assembly, stated Wednesday, “The social justice project will give equity to positively alter disenfranchised communities of color for the better.”
New York lawmakers have reached an agreement to allow adults over the age of 21 to purchase recreational marijuana.
Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat and sponsor of the Senate bill, said she became interested in the issue after witnessing 50,000 Black and Latino young people arrested each year for marijuana possession and sales while white youths in her East Side Manhattan district were not stopped and searched by police.
“The concept that we’re finally going to get rid of this,” she said of what she termed an unfair enforcement system for a commonly used narcotic, especially among whites, was “the triumph for me and why I felt so wonderful last night.”
The following are the effective dates of several of the new law’s significant provisions:
Expungement of previous marijuana-related felony convictions and arrests
People convicted of marijuana-related offenses will be able to have their records wiped under the new law. This process must begin “immediately,” but it must be completed by state and local courts no later than two years after the bill’s signing on Wednesday.
Marijuana sales that have received state approval
The new law establishes a complicated legal and regulatory framework in which the state will decide on a variety of issues, including where marijuana shops can open up shop and who has the right to grow, process, distribute, and sell marijuana and cannabis products. That procedure is expected to start no earlier than March 1, 2022. Nobody expects sales to start for at least another 18 to 24 months.
Adults over the age of 21 can buy and use marijuana under the law, which is similar to the alcohol rules. People can now lawfully possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana, or 24 grams of concentrated cannabis, as of today. A fine of up to $125 could be imposed if you have more than 3 ounces. Possession of more than 16 ounces is a misdemeanor. People are allowed to keep up to 5 pounds of marijuana in their homes.
Some possession levels are effective immediately, while others are not until April 1, 2022. If the state’s new marijuana growing, distribution, and sales system isn’t in place by then, some of the higher possession timetables will be pushed back, but possession of up to 3 ounces will remain legal. Possession of small amounts of marijuana was formerly decriminalized in New York, with a maximum penalty of a violation. In addition, the law calls for marijuana to be removed from the state’s controlled substance list.
Proponents argue that the rule allows marijuana to be smoked anyplace tobacco can be legally smoked; many indoor and outdoor settings currently prohibit smoking. Technically, the marijuana that someone would smoke is not legal because it is frequently purchased on the black market; however, some questions remain about marijuana purchased by New Yorkers at legal outlets in states that have legalized the drug’s sale, despite the fact that federal law still prohibits marijuana from crossing state lines.
Marijuana growing in the home
The law allows each person to produce three “mature” and three “immature” marijuana plants, for a total of 12 plants per household, regardless of the number of people living there. The plants must be kept on the owner’s or renter’s property or indoors, and “reasonable” security measures must be used to prevent access by anybody under the age of 21. Medical marijuana patients will be able to start growing their own plants at home in six months, while “adult-use” marijuana plants will be able to be grown at home starting 18 months after the first retail outlets operate across the state.
Marijuana for medical use
The state’s medical marijuana program will also undergo adjustments, including making it available to patients with a wider range of medical illnesses, allowing qualifying patients to smoke marijuana, and doubling the amount of marijuana that can be prescribed to a 60-day supply. Large commercial marijuana corporations who are currently engaged in the medical marijuana program will be able to enter the new adult use marijuana market, thanks to a big lobbying victory. That, too, can lawfully occur on April 1, 2022, if the state’s regulatory structure is ready by then.
Local laws allowing people to opt-out
The law allows for not only retail marijuana sales, but also open “social consumption” locations, such as cannabis lounges, where people can smoke a joint, vape a product, or nibble on a gummy bear in a clublike setting. Cities, municipalities, and villages, on the other hand, can refuse to allow such retail or club facilities. They have till the end of the year to do so. Someone, on the other hand, can start a public referendum and, if successful, overturn the local government’s decision.
Cannabis Management Office
A new state agency will be in charge of overseeing the entire new marijuana supply and sales chain, from who gets marijuana licenses to rules regarding advertising and packaging of marijuana goods to be marketed in New York. It will be guided in much of its work by a five-member board, with three members appointed by the governor and one each by the Assembly and Senate leaders. A 13-member advisory board will be established as well. Members will include state agency executives, a public and behavioral health specialist, a farmer, a substance abuse disorder treatment expert, and someone who has previously been incarcerated for violating marijuana laws.
Driving when inebriated is illegal.
The impact of marijuana legalization on impaired driving occurrences by high-speed drivers was a prominent point of contention in the debate over the new law. Opponents argue that there is currently no accurate field test that authorities can employ to establish the level of marijuana in someone’s system, while supporters argue that there is no actual agreement on a definition of marijuana-impaired driving. A state study on the issue of drunk driving must be completed by March 31, 2022, according to the law.