Patients and advocates have long fought for these changes.
Cannabis was already available for medical use and largely decriminalized in the Empire State. Still, the new law has some changes that will be more pronounced than others in daily life.
The timing of what becomes legal when can also be confusing. Retail sales of marijuana aren’t set to begin until mid-to-late 2022, for example.
Soon: New York’s medical program will expand
New York lawmakers said they would begin to automatically expunge records for people with previous marijuana-related convictions. The records that would qualify for expungement would include any activities that are “no longer criminalized” under New York law.
Andrew Carter, an analyst at Stifel, said he expects recreational cannabis sales to begin in late 2022. Norman Birenbaum, New York’s director of cannabis programs, told Insider in February that he expects a program to be rolled out in 12-18 months, based on timelines in other states that have legalized.
Immediately: New Yorkers can now smoke marijuana outside in the same places where cigarette smoking is allowed
That means if you want to purchase cannabis products at a licensed retailer, you’ll likely have to wait until summer or fall of next year.
It’s not yet clear who will serve in these roles, but members are expected to be chosen soon as lawmakers have indicated that they hope for a fast roll out.
This will be regulated by the Office Cannabis Management.
“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.”
Landlords that allow for smoking on the premises must also allow for cannabis consumption. But this also means no smoking in parks, public transportation and bars.
Right now, New Yorkers can smoke marijuana almost everywhere they can smoke tobacco.
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.