“It’s a lot more complicated than one might think, because sometimes charges can be grouped together, where they’re not specified,” Cooney said. “That is something that’s going to take a little bit more nuance and time and so we built that into the legislation.”
Right now, New Yorkers can smoke marijuana almost everywhere they can smoke tobacco.
How soon will this be possible? No later than 18 months after the first legal marijuana sale in New York. This means not until 2023 at the earliest.
Under the MRTA, the Office of Cannabis Management was launched to regulate the recreational and existing medical marijuana programs.
There are exceptions, such as no smoking in the car even while it’s parked and no smoking on outdoor patios at bars and restaurants.
“Social consumption sites are created for those people cannot smoke where they live,” Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes explained. “And clearly you can’t or you shouldn’t, be walking up and down the street using a product because in most places, you can’t even smoke at a bus stop in Erie County.”
“Sort of the idea is to delay it a little bit,” said Axel Bernabe, counsel to Governor Andrew Cuomo. “Allow dispensaries to get up and running. Allow folks to have access through regulated channels. And then if they still want to grow their own, like craft brewery, brew beer at home, you would be able to do that. And we would issue regulations 18 months from the first sale.”
Can New Yorkers Start Growing Cannabis Plants for Recreational Use?
Where Can You Smoke Marijuana?
The proposal, now open to public comment for 60 days, would permit the cultivation of up to six marijuana plants in a private residence. The regulation will take effect after the commentary period closes and the board finalizes its language.
Medical marijuana has been legal in The Empire State since 2014, but it hasn’t always been easy to access. Patients in New York have to be approved by a medical professional and must acquire their marijuana from a licensed dispensary. Those products can be expensive and aren’t typically covered by insurance. One company, Vireo Health, recommends patients bring between $100 and $350 on their first visit to a dispensary.
The board had six months to issue those rules, but former Gov. Andrew Cuomo never appointed its members during his tenure and that deadline passed.