BLOG from our #ABKLaw Partner Michael Jaccarino, Esq.: New York State legalized recreational Marijuana

BLOG from our #ABKLaw Partner Michael Jaccarino, Esq.: New York State legalized recreational Marijuana

New York has legalized adult use recreational marijuana for cultivation, processing, and sale in New York. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act was signed into law on March 31, 2021. The MRTA establishes the Office of Cannabis Management within the Division of Alcohol Beverage Control to set standards, license, inspect, and enforce the laws with respect to the marijuana business.  

There are now, essentially, no criminal implications for possession or sale of less than 3 ounces of marijuana.  The MRTA also expunges the records of people who were convicted of marijuana-related charges that are no longer criminalized. 

Expungement means that the arrest, the court case and the decision on the charges are treated as if they never happened. This means that these charges:

    • will not show up on a criminal history record search or your RAP sheet.
    • can’t be used against you to deny you housing, student loans, or a job.
    • can’t be found by law enforcement.
    • don’t have to be listed on a job or school application that asks if you’ve been convicted of or arrested for that crime.

The definition of expungement is found in CPL 1.20(45). Some past convictions are automatically expunged.  The Court system expects over 107,000 cases that fit this category. Moreover, people with past convictions will be recognized and among those prioritized for licenses to cultivate, process, and sell marijuana products.

The implications of the new statute are endless.  Persons who may be affected by this statute are encouraged to promptly contact an attorney. At Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, we handle all aspects of cannabis law, from criminal defense, business formation, licensing, avoidance of civil penalties, and navigation through the State’s regulatory schemes.

Call our office to learn more, or if you have a particular legal matter that requires immediate attention: 212-486-0011 or email us at

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