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New York Cannabis Laws

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Legal status

  • Fully legal

Possession limits

  • Medical patients

    60 day supply

  • Recreational users

    3 oz

State taxes

  • Medical patients


  • Recreational users



  • Medical patients

    6 plants; max. 12 for CaregiversMax. 3 mature

  • Recreational users

    6 plantsMax. 3 mature

  • Cultivation is legal
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Application process

To apply for a medical cannabis card in the state of New York

Once you have registered with Leafwell and been approved by one of our medical marijuana doctors online, apply to the state medical marijuana program. Receive your MMJ card and start shopping for your medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary.

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Table of contents

  1. Marijuana Laws in New York
  2. What to Know About Medical Cannabis in New York
  3. How Many Marijuana Plants Can You Grow in New York?
  4. The Bottom Line

Both medical and recreational cannabis use is legal in New York.

The evolution of marijuana laws in New York has been gradual, with medical marijuana legalized in 2014 and recreational marijuana being legalized with the passage of The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) in March 2021. Patients with a valid New York medical marijuana card can possess up to a 60-day supply of cannabis as prescribed by their healthcare provider.

Recreational cannabis use is also legal for adults at least 21. Recreational users can possess up to three ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of concentrated cannabis. New Yorkers can smoke or vape cannabis wherever tobacco is allowed, except in motor vehicles or outdoor dining areas.

Marijuana Laws in New York

Medical Cannabis Laws

New York’s medical marijuana program allows patients with qualifying conditions to obtain and use medical cannabis products. To be eligible, patients must have a recommendation from a registered healthcare provider and obtain a medical marijuana card and purchase cannabis products from a licensed dispensing facility.

Some examples of medical cannabis products are vape cartridges/pens, capsules/tablets, tinctures, oral sprays, oral powders, lozenges, metered ground plant preparation for vaporization, whole flower cannabis for vaporization, and transdermal patches.

Medical cannabis in New York is available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, tinctures, and vaporization products. However, smoking cannabis is not allowed for medical use.

Recreational Marijuana Laws

New York legalized recreational marijuana use for adults at least 21 in March 2021. Under the new law, individuals can possess up to three ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of concentrated cannabis for personal use. The state is currently working on establishing a regulated market for legal sales, with retail licenses expected to be issued in the future.

Public consumption of cannabis is allowed wherever smoking tobacco is permitted, but it is prohibited in locations such as schools, workplaces, and vehicles. Some cities also have additional rules on where residents can consume cannabis.

What to Know About Medical Cannabis in New York

There Isn’t a Set List of Medical Conditions

New York doesn’t have a list of medical conditions qualifying for medical cannabis. Instead, healthcare providers can recommend cannabis for other conditions they believe may benefit from its use.

Telemedicine Is Allowed

New York permits healthcare providers to conduct medical marijuana evaluations and issue recommendations through telemedicine, allowing patients to obtain their medical marijuana card online with Leafwell.

The State Doesn’t Offer Medical Marijuana Reciprocity

New York does not recognize medical marijuana cards from other states, and out-of-state patients cannot access medical cannabis in New York. However, several other states recognize a New York medical marijuana card, allowing New Yorkers to access medical cannabis while traveling.

That said, several other states and territories will recognize a New York medical marijuana card:

*Visitors must complete a visiting patient application with the state program.

States that have recreational cannabis for adults 21 and older but do not accept out-of-state cards include:

There Are Employment Protections for Cardholders

New York law provides employment protections for medical marijuana cardholders, prohibiting employers from discriminating against employees based on their status as medical marijuana patients.

The State Has Testing Requirements

All cannabis products in New York must be tested for safety and quality, including cannabinoid content, residual solvents, pesticides, heavy metals, and microbial contamination.

Caregivers Can Be Added At Any Time

Anyone in need of a caregiver (New York requires caregivers for those under 18 or those who cannot provide informed consent) can designate up to five (5) caregivers.

And as of 2023, caregivers may be added at any time after the approving provider completes the patient’s state registration.

  • Caregivers must register with the MCDMS via their personal my.ny.gov account.
  • Patients must designate the caregiver on their registration via their personal my.ny.gov account before the caregiver can register.

How Many Marijuana Plants Can You Grow in New York?

Certified medical marijuana patients aged 21 and older can cultivate up to six cannabis plants at their private residence for personal use, with a maximum of three immature and three mature female plants. Recreational users are not allowed to grow marijuana plants in New York. Designated caregivers can also grow up to six plants per patient, with a maximum of 12 plants at any time.

Seeds and immature plants for home cultivation are also available for sale to certified patients or their designated caregivers at some registered organizations dispensing locations.

Cannabis cultivation is not allowed in federally funded public housing sites, even for medical purposes, as it could result in loss of housing support.

The Bottom Line

Marijuana is legal for medical and recreational use in New York, with specific regulations for each.

Medical marijuana patients can access cannabis with a valid New York medical marijuana card. At the same time, recreational users at least 21 can possess up to three ounces of cannabis for personal use. Growing marijuana plants is allowed for medical patients and their caregivers but not for recreational users. As the state continues to develop its cannabis industry, New Yorkers can expect further changes and updates to marijuana laws.

Qualify for Cannabis

If you live in a state with a medical program you could qualify for cannabis. Speak to a physician today to qualify and learn how cannabis can help you.