After years of failed attempts, New York has finally legalised recreational cannabis, becoming the 15th state to do so. Late last month, a bill was approved that legalises the drug, paving the way for a potential $4.2 billion industry that could become one of the nation’s largest markets.
What does legalisation mean for New Yorkers?
New Yorkers that meet the age requirement are now allowed to use cannabis products and give them to others, providing they also meet the age requirement of 21 and older.
People can possess a maximum of three ounces (3oz) of cannabis for recreational use or 24 grams of cannabis concentrates (oils, shatter, and wax). If someone possesses more than the permitted amount or sells the drug without a license, penalties – ranging from a fine to prison time – will be issued. The New York Times reports that people are also expected to take “reasonable steps” to ensure that cannabis products are stored in a secure location.
People with cannabis-related convictions for activity that is no longer criminalised are to have such offences on their records immediately wiped.
Where is cannabis allowed?
Smoking cannabis is not permitted in workplaces, schools, or inside a car, but pretty much anywhere you can smoke tobacco, you can now smoke cannabis. Certain hotels and motels may permit cannabis use, and maybe even some landlords. Once regulations are in place in the coming months, some club-like lounges may allow the use of cannabis, although the public places in which you can now use cannabis may change over time.
If a police officer smells cannabis, they cannot use it as a justification to stop and search someone. However, a fine of $25 and up to 20 hours of community service will be issued to those who are caught smoking cannabis in prohibited places.
Wait, what about impaired driving?
It remains illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis, and the police can pull you over if they suspect impaired driving.
Is it legal to grow cannabis at home?
It will be, but not immediately. At home, indoors or outdoors, users will be allowed to cultivate a maximum of six plants each, and a total of twelve plants per household. But hold your horses, this only becomes legal 18 months after the first adult-use dispensary opens. For medical cannabis patients, however, it becomes legal six months from now.
So, when will the sale of cannabis be legalised?
The New York Times reports that some time has yet to pass before dispensaries can open and legal sales can begin. A specific timeline has yet to be provided, as it is necessar