In 2018, President Trump signed the Farm Bill into law, which legalized the use of hemp in the United States. This cleared the way for Delta-8 THC, a hemp derived cousin of the more common Delta-9 THC, to be legally sold in America. Unfortunately, this only complicated
matters, as each state was then able to limit D8 with their own state based laws. In New York, the picture is complex, and requires explanation into cannabis legality.
Cannabis Legalization Status in New York
As of 2021, recreational cannabis use and possession is legal for individuals 21 years of age and older if they possess less than 3 ounces of flower or 24 grams of concentrate. However, the situation is complicated by New York’s Smoke Free Air Laws, which prohibit the smoking or vaping of any substance (including tobacco) in most public areas. This includes cars, public spaces like parks or sidewalks, or open dining areas as well as any restaurant or office buildings. Adults are allowed to purchase cannabis from licensed retailers in New York, grow up to six plants (three mature, and three immature) themselves, and store up to five pounds of cannabis at home.
Delta-8 Legality in New York
While cannabis is legal in New York, D8 and hemp derived cannabis products remain illegal. According to the New York Cannabis Control Board, Many Delta-8 products are not regulated and therefore may pose a risk to consumers. Ironically, though the Farm Bill opened the door for hemp derived cannabis, it never set a baseline standard for the products that would be available on the market, including Delta-8. With no regulation or compliance standards, the New York government felt it would be safer to wait until more data was available to ensure consumer safety.
1. Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill. (2019, July 25). U.S. Food And Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/news-
2. Cannabis (Marijuana) – NYC Health. (n.d.). https://www.nyc.gov/site/doh/
3. Smoke-Free Air Laws – NYC Health. (n.d.). https://www.nyc.gov/site/doh/
4. Consumers. (n.d.). Office of Cannabis Management. https://cannabis.ny.gov/