In New York City, the law has evolved to legalize marijuana for adult use. As of now, it is lawful for individuals aged 21 and over to possess up to three ounces of cannabis and up to 24 grams of concentrated cannabis for personal use. Smoking or vaping cannabis is permitted in locations where tobacco smoking is allowed, barring a few exceptions. This marks a significant shift in the legal landscape concerning cannabis use in NYC.
New York State has embarked on an initiative dubbed Cannabis Conversations aimed at educating residents about the nuances of the Cannabis Law, health and safety considerations, and the burgeoning opportunities within the legal cannabis market. It’s important to note that while cannabis is legal for adult use, sales are yet to commence in the state.
The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) brought changes to Section 201-D of the New York Labor Law. This amendment makes it clear that cannabis, when used in compliance with state laws, is considered a legal consumable product. Consequently, discrimination by employers against employees for the use of cannabis outside of work hours and premises is prohibited.
However, there are still restrictions in place, especially for those under the age of 21, for whom the use and possession of marijuana remain illegal. Moreover, for certain job titles and assignments, cannabis use is still not permissible, and compliance with this regulation is necessary for employment.
Social equity remains a pivotal element of the Cannabis Law, addressing the decades-long impact of disproportionate enforcement and criminalization of cannabis use in communities of color. The legislation is designed to provide opportunities for those affected to participate in the legal cannabis industry in New York.
For more information on marijuana use and legal considerations in New York, please refer to the following resources:
Office of Cannabis Management,
Cannabis in NYC: Know Your Rights,
Marijuana Testing in Employment,
Adult Use Cannabis and the Workplace New York Labor Law 201-d,
Adult Use Information,
Office of Cannabis Management: Adult Use,
Office of Addiction Services and Supports,