New York

(Last update: February 10, 2020)

Medical Marijuana: Yes

Recreational Marijuana: No

Decriminalized: Yes

In-Home Cultivation: -

Legalization included in Gov. Cuomo's 2020 budget proposal

The push for New York to legalize marijuana for adult use has picked back up in 2020. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has included legalization in his budget proposal for a second year. However, key legislators and advocates criticized the governor’s proposal for failing to allocate tax revenue to communities hardest hit by the war on drugs. Negotiations on the details continue.

The budget must be approved by April 1. Lawmakers could also try to pass a standalone bill before the legislative session ends.

Unfortunately, after months of debate, legalization fell short in 2019. The Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act was not able to gain enough support in the Senate to receive a vote before the legislature’s deadline.

Gov. Cuomo signs bill to improve decriminalization law

In 2019, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed A08420/S06579 into law, which fixed the state’s decriminalization law and added automatic expungement for past convictions.

The bill reduces the penalty for possessing up to an ounce of marijuana to a $50 fine (from $100). It also closes the “public view” loophole that law enforcement has used as a pretext to arrest tens of thousands of New Yorkers and automatically erases old convictions for decriminalized conduct. You can read a summary of the law here.

PTSD added as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana

To mark Veterans Day, in November 2017, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an MPP Foundation-backed bill to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition. In addition, the Department of Health added chronic pain to the list of qualifying conditions in 2017.