Cannabis Legalization in New York State
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, pot, weed, and other terms, is now legal in New York State for adults aged 21 and older. However, legal adult-use sales have yet to commence. New York State has initiated Cannabis Conversations to educate New Yorkers on the Cannabis Law, vital health and safety information, and the new opportunities arising from legalization.
The Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA)
On March 31, 2021, New York State legalized adult-use cannabis through the Marihuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA). This legislation established the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and the Cannabis Control Board to oversee the comprehensive regulation of adult-use, medical, and hemp cannabis. Adult-use and medical cannabis varieties contain more than 0.3% THC and are known for their psychoactive effects.
Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) | Office of Cannabis Management
Understanding the Legal Boundaries
Marijuana is not legal for everyone. It’s illegal for individuals under 21 to use, possess, or be given marijuana. Marijuana can be addictive and can harm the developing brain. If you or someone you know wishes to stop using marijuana, help is available through the NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports.
You know marijuana is legal in New York but – Office of Addiction Services and Supports
Regulations and Licensing
The Office of Cannabis Management’s (OCM) adult-use cannabis market, established upon the Cannabis Law’s passage in March 2021, represents more than a shift in New York’s drug policies. It introduces a path for New York to bring economic opportunities to all regions. The licensing process for participating in the legal cannabis market is handled by the OCM, ensuring a comprehensive and equitable system.
Licensing | Office of Cannabis Management
Social Equity and Legal Cannabis
Social equity is a central theme of the Cannabis Law, aiming to repair the decades of disproportionate enforcement and overcriminalization of cannabis, particularly in Black and Brown communities. Ensuring those adversely affected have an equitable opportunity to participate and prosper in the legal New York cannabis industry is a key mandate and priority.
Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization | Office of Cannabis Management