The state of New York legalized recreational marijuana in 2021 and it is one of the country’s most progressive pieces of cannabis legislation, including for home cultivation.

What does the New York cannabis cultivation law say?

New York’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act permits individuals 21 and older to grow marijuana at home for personal use.

For recreational users, this provision of the law will take effect when the state marijuana regulator, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), issues its regulations for home cannabis cultivation. This is expected to happen within 18 months of the first adult-use dispensary opening its doors for business.

Registered medical marijuana patients and their designated caregivers are not required to wait. They are permitted to grow cannabis at their private residences.

Medical marijuana patients under the age of 21 must have a caregiver grow cannabis on their behalf, and a caregiver can only do this for a maximum of four patients. It is not permitted for patients to grow their own cannabis and have a caregiver do so for them as well.

What are New York’s cannabis cultivation limits?

For medical marijuana patients, cannabis cultivation is capped at three mature (flowering) plants and three immature (non-flowering) plants, with a maximum of 12 in total per household. Caregivers of multiple patients are also limited to 12 at a time, even if they are growing on behalf of more than one patient using cannabis for medical purposes.

Marijuana cultivation limits are the same for recreational growers as they are for medical cannabis patients and caregivers.

How much cultivated cannabis can be legally stored at home?

Under New York’s marijuana laws, both medical and recreational users of cannabis are permitted to store up to five pounds of harvested cannabis at their private residence.

However, this will only be the case for recreational users once the OCM has issued its home cultivation regulations.

Penalties for growing cannabis in New York

While growing up to six cannabis plants is legal in New York, there are penalties in place for exceeding this amount.

Cultivating more than six plants is considered a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Additionally, under current case law in New York, marijuana cultivation is also considered marijuana possession which may result in further penalties if the amount exceeds the legally permitted three ounces.

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