In addition, there will be “microbusiness licenses” that allow the holder to cultivate, produce and retail their own cannabis products but with significant size limitations. There will also be “on-site consumption licenses” for retail locations that will allow people to use cannabis products at the location.
In Israel, Krueger said, where medical research on medical marijuana is allowed, scientists have had breakthroughs using marijuana extracts to treat children with severe autism.
The legislation signed by the governor immediately decriminalized the possession of less than three ounces of marijuana — or less than 24 grams of concentrated cannabis — for anyone 21 and older. Possession of amounts higher than that remains a violation and escalates to a felony charge when someone possesses more than 10 pounds of marijuana, or more than four pounds of concentrated cannabis.
Although stigmas remain, the marijuana industry has evolved significantly in the past half-century, and become much more than a vehicle for someone to get “stoned.”
New York State Senators Pete Harckham, left, and Liz Krueger, right, hold a press conference on marijuana legislation on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, to at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y. Sen. Harckham, who opposed legalization last year, announced support for Krueger’s cannabis bill. (Will Waldron/Times Union)
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Unlike some states where a few large dispensaries are spread out geographically and customers drive sometimes long distances to make purchases, New York’s plan is a statewide framework of relatively small retail shops with a focus on awarding licenses in many of the communities where convictions for marijuana-related offenses have been the highest.
Possession of greater than eight ounces increases the penalties to a possible one to one and a half years in prison and a fine up to $5,000. The penalties for possession of greater than 16 ounces are one to two and a half years in prison and a fine up to $5,000. For possession of any amount greater than 10 pounds, the penalty is one to five and half years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
Any sale or delivery to a minor is punishable by one to two and a half years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
Possession or sale of paraphernalia is punishable by up to one year in jail or a fine up to $1,000.
For possession of greater than two ounces, the penalty increases to a possible one year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
Delivery or manufacture of two grams or less of marijuana for no remuneration is punishable by up to three months in jail and a fine up to $500. For delivery or manufacture of 25 grams or less, the penalty is up to one year in jail and a fine up to $1,000. For amounts greater than 25 grams, the penalty increases to one to one and a half years in jail and a fine up to $5,000. Delivery or manufacture of greater than four ounces is punishable by one to two and a half years in prison and a fine up to $5,000. For any amount greater than 16 ounces, the penalty increases to one to five and a half years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.