State Legalizes Adult Use Cannabis – Not Permitted on Licensed Premises

New York State has legalized the adult use of cannabis and begun what is expected to be an 18 month or longer process to allow the growth, production, and sale of marijuana for recreational use. The law sets up the Office of Cannabis Management and provides the framework for how the legal marijuana market will operate in New York State.

One of the key provisions of the law is the creation of on premises consumption locations where people can purchase cannabis and consume it on site. These locations will not be allowed to serve alcohol – the law explicitly┬áprohibits cannabis consumption where alcohol is served on-premises. The only exception to this is a private hotel room, however, the law permits hotel operators to ban the consumption of marijuana on their property entirely.

Some reports apparently indicate that marijuana can be consumed anywhere tobacco is consumed or that marijuana can be consumed anywhere in public. These reports are inaccurate. Cannabis consumption is prohibited anywhere that smoking is prohibited, but the reverse is not the same – you cannot smoke marijuana wherever you can smoke a cigarette. Cannabis consumption is permitted in “public” but your bar or restaurant is not “public” space.

The Office of Cannabis Management has created a website with more information about the new law and check back often as they roll out their plans.