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Usually, marijuana legalization comes with rules and regulations that you must be aware of to use the wonder drug legally and safely. This is even more important since weed in New York is legal for medical and recreational use. 


Today, we’ll take you through the Empire State’s cannabis laws.

Are Edibles Legal in NY?


Many marijuana consumers prefer edibles to smoking marijuana, maybe because they have a health condition or don’t want to expose themselves to the dangers of smoking.


It’s no secret that smoking of any kind – not just marijuana – affects your health, so we’ve outlined ways for you to smoke cannabis without severe effects on your health here


Edibles include cannabis-infused foods like cookies and gummies. The good news is that edibles are legal in New York. Before you visit a dispensary, call ahead to find out if they have the product you want to buy.


While smoking cannabis has an almost instant effect, edibles can take between 30 mins to 2hrs before you feel the effects. So go easy, be patient, and consume edibles in small amounts.


Also, edibles stay longer in your system, so you could test positive for cannabis long after you consume edibles. If you’re expecting a drug test, it’s best to avoid edibles altogether. But if you want to clear marijuana from your system, we’ve outlined effective methods here

Do I Need a Medical Card for Weed in NY?


Yes, you must get a New York medical marijuana card to access medical weed in New York. The state registers all patients in the medical marijuana program and issues them a medical card that entitles them to the benefits of medical marijuana.


Why do you need a medical Marijuanas card since recreational weed in New York is legal?


Well, the benefits of medical marijuana are immense; medical patients pay a lower tax on the purchase, so they buy more for less compared to recreational users; have a higher possession limit; and, if marijuana supplies run low, they get priority. 


If you want a medical card, the first step is to speak with your physician; if they decide your condition will benefit from medical marijuana treatment, they will give you a certification.


So, how do you get a medical card for weed in NY? We’ve written everything you need to know about it, including the requirements and process here.


Luckily for you, here at Elevate Holistics, we can help you get your New York medical marijuana card 100% online. All you have to do is click here to book a telehealth appointment, and you can chat with one of our many expert cannabis physicians. We’ll help you every step of the way, making the process feel effortless. 

Medical Marijuanas Card NY Qualifying Conditions


Patients who suffer from any of the following qualifying medical conditions can apply for a medical card in New York:


New York Weed Laws


Why do we need weed laws when marijuana is legal in New York? That’s because, despite its legality, there’s more you need to know to buy, possess, and consume weed without breaking the law.


So let’s get right to it – what are the New York weed laws? 

New York Marijuana DUI


A DUI is a DUI whether you’re under the influence of alcohol or marijuana, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a medical marijuana patient. Under New York marijuana laws, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal.  

Does New York Have Reciprocity?


No, New York does not accept medical cards from other states. Fortunately, you don’t need a medical card to buy weed in New York if you’re 21 or older since recreational marijuana is legal.  

What is the Age Limit for Weed in New York?


Medical marijuana in New York is open to anyone with no minimum age limit. However, patients aged 18 and under must have a caregiver.

For recreational marijuana, only adults aged 21 and over can buy, use, and possess weed in New York. 

Is Hemp Legal in New York?


Yes, hemp and hemp extracts are legal in New York. You can find the complete rules and regulations for hemp in New York here

Cannabis and Workplace Policy


While cannabis is legal for recreational use, employers can institute a drug-free policy, and all employees must abide by workplace rules.


Even if your workplace does not have a drug-free policy, consume cannabis responsibly so that it does not impair your function and productivity.


For more weed laws, including New York possession laws, click here.  

New York State Weed Possession Laws


How much weed can you possess in New York? That depends on if you’re a recreational user or a medical marijuana patient. New York State weed possession laws state that adults 21 and older can possess up to three ounces of cannabis flower or 24 grams of concentrated cannabis on their person. 


For medical marijuana patients, dispensaries can sell up to a 60-day supply to cardholders or any amount their physician recommends within the 60-day limit.  

Compassionate Care Act NY


The Empire State legalized Medical marijuana when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act into law on July 5, 2014.


New York weed legalization introduced the New York State’s Medical Marijuana Program and specified the requirements for patient registration. Under the terms, patients who suffer from specific qualifying medical conditions can get a physician certification for medical marijuana treatment. 


Patients can also designate up to two caregivers, and patients under 18 must have a caregiver. Minors must have a caregiver who is a parent or legal guardian or a person their parent or legal guardian designates. The caregivers must be aged at least 21 years.


Healthcare providers who wish to participate in the Medical Marijuana Program must be:


  • A physician licensed by and in good standing with New York State.
  • Qualified to treat patients with one or more of the following diseases: cancer, HIV/AID$, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury with spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, and Huntington’s disease.

Can You Smoke Weed in Public in New York?


It is illegal to vaporize or smoke weed in places where smoking is not permitted, according to the Smoke-Free Air Act (SFAA). NY prohibits smoking and vaping in most workplaces and public spaces. 


These are the places you can’t smoke or vape cannabis in New York:


  • Public areas of buildings
  • Parks and public gardens
  • Beaches and boardwalks
  • Public golf courses and sports stadiums
  • Pedestrian plazas
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Cars and other motor vehicles
  • Schools 

The New York State Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits smoking and vaping within 100 feet of entrances, exits, or outdoor areas of public libraries and within 100 feet of entrances, exits, or outdoor areas of public or private elementary or secondary schools.


You can smoke weed in your private residence, but landlords, rental companies, and property owners can ban marijuana possession and use on their property as part of the tenancy agreement.  

Is it Legal to Grow Pot in NY?


What if you want to grow your weed at home in New York? You can’t.


It is illegal for anyone to grow weed in New York, even if they have a medical card for weed in NY.


The Cannabis Control Board is currently reviewing home cultivation proposals for medical patients. If approved, patients 21 and older can grow up to three mature plants and three immature plants at home.


Fortunately, the age limit does not mean younger patients don’t have access to home cultivation; caregivers can cultivate cannabis on behalf of their patients. 


You can read the proposed rules for home cultivation here. 

Is it Legal to Share, Trade, or Sell Weed?


In general, cannabis laws vary significantly based on location. In some regions where recreational use is legal, adults aged 21 and older are often allowed to share a certain amount of cannabis flower (up to 3 ounces) or concentrated cannabis (up to 24 grams) with other adults of the same age for personal use. 


However, possessing or sharing more than these amounts is typically illegal. Selling or trading any amount of cannabis is usually prohibited, especially without proper licensing and regulatory compliance. It’s important to check the specific cannabis laws in your area to understand the legal boundaries.

How to Get a Weed Dispensary License in NY


The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) oversees business licenses for medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, and hemp products.

Dispensaries require a Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary License. The OCM anticipates many applications but will not approve all. The state will consider only those who meet the requirements and submit a competitive application for a license.


Click here for everything you need to know about getting a weed dispensary license in NY, including eligibility, application requirements, and FAQs.  


As of December 2023, New York has issued over 400 provisional adult-use retail licenses for cannabis dispensaries, but many of these outlets are still not operational. The market’s growth has been slower than expected, with BDSA forecasting sales in New York to reach $700 million in 2023, falling short of the anticipated $1 billion in the first full year. 


To identify a legal dispensary in New York, look for a QR code displayed near the front door, which is a sign of legality. The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) handles the licensing process, with emphasis on meeting specific requirements and submitting a competitive application.

Let Elevate Holistics Be Your Guide


Usually, states that have legalized marijuana have a raft of regulations patients and consumers must adhere to, and that’s where you’ll find Elevate Holistics.


We’re here to hold your hand and guide you in your cannabis journey, so you make informed decisions and get the best out of cannabis without worrying about breaking the law.


For more information, see our New York FAQ cannabis guide.


Our complete marijuana service can help you get an appointment with a qualified doctor, get your medical marijuana card or find a licensed dispensary. We’re the final word on cannabis services, and we take our duties seriously, which means our clients get only the best service.


Click the scheduler below to book a consultation.

Wait! Before you go…


Do you know someone who could benefit from medical cannabis? Here at Elevate, we make the MMJ card process effortless. Simply send them our way and we’ll help them get a medical card at an affordable price — right from home.


Do you live somewhere where recreational cannabis is legal? Believe it or not, you could probably benefit from a medical card more than you think. MMJ cards help you save serious money, you get priority at your local shops, and you likely can buy (and maybe even grow) more weed than before. Click here to read about the benefits of getting an MMJ card; or, click here to book an appointment today.

Get Your MMJ Card Right From Home

Elevate Holistics’ process is quick, affordable, and done entirely online. It’s never been so easy.

About the author

Michael Lawal is a seasoned content writer with specialized expertise in the medical cannabis industry. With a background that blends journalism and health sciences, Michael has a knack for translating complex medical cannabis research into accessible and engaging content. His writing portfolio showcases a range of work from informative articles and research summaries to patient education materials. Committed to raising awareness about the benefits and responsible use of medical cannabis, Michael's work is a valuable resource for both consumers and professionals in the field.
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