New York Marijuana Laws & Federal Marijuana Laws

NY Penal law 221.15 Criminal possession of marihuana in the fourth degree.

New York State Marijuana Laws & Penalties (Sale, Possession)

Below are some of the possible penalties for the possession of marijuana in New York, as well as the sale of marijuana in New York. We have included both New York State laws and penalties as well as Federal laws and penalties.

If you have been arrested for one of these marijuana offenses, contact us today for a free evaluation of your case — (646) 742-9800.


Possession of marijuana / Unlawful possession of marijuana

Possessing less than 2 ounces of marijuana in a non-public place is classified as unlawful possession of marijuana (New York State Penal Law § 221.05), a violation which carries a penalty of a fine up to $100.  A second offense may be punished by a fine of up to $200.  A third offense may be punishable by a fine up to $250 and 15 days in jail.

An arrest for possession of  less than 2 ounces of marijuana in a public place  is classified as criminal possession of marijuana in the 5th degree (New York State Penal Law § 221.10), a Class B misdemeanor punishable by 3 months in jail.

An arrest for possession of 2 ounces or more of  marijuana or a mixture containing marijuana is classified as criminal possession of marijuana in the 4th degree (New York State Penal Law § 221.15), a Class A misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail.

An arrest for possession of 8 ounces or more of  marijuana or a mixture containing marijuana is classified as criminal possession of marijuana in the 3rd degree (New York State Penal Law § 221.20), a Class E felony punishable by 1 to 1½ years in prison.  Second time offenders may face up to 2 years in prison, and a previous violent offender could face 2½  years.

An arrest for possession of 16 ounces or more of  marijuana or a mixture containing marijuana is classified as criminal possession of marijuana in the 2nd degree (New York State Penal Law § 221.25), a Class D felony punishable by 1 to 2½ years in prison.  Second time offenders may face up to 4 years in prison, and a previous violent offender could face 4½  years.

An arrest for possession of 10 pounds or more of  marijuana or a mixture containing marijuana is classified as criminal possession of marijuana in the 1st degree (New York State Penal Law § 221.30), a Class C felony punishable by 1 to 5½ years in prison.  Second time offenders may face up to 8 years in prison, and a previous violent offender could face 9  years.


Sale of Marijuana Laws

An arrest for selling 2 grams or less or one cigarette of marijuana is classified as criminal possession of marijuana in the 5th degree (New York State Penal Law § 221.35), a Class B misdemeanor punishable by 3 months in jail.

An arrest for selling more than 2 grams but less than 25 grams of marijuana is classified as criminal possession of marijuana in the 5th degree (New York State Penal Law § 221.40), a Class A misdemeanor punishable by 1 year in jail.

An arrest for selling 25 mg or more of marijuana or a mixture containing marijuana is classified as criminal possession of marijuana in the 3rd degree (New York State Penal Law § 221.45), a Class E felony punishable by 1 to 1½ years in prison.  Second time offenders may face up to 2 years in prison, and a previous violent offender could face 2½ years.

An arrest for selling 4 ounces or more of marijuana or a mixture containing marijuana is classified as criminal sale of a controlled substance in the 2nd degree (New York State Penal Law § 221.50), a Class D felony punishable by 1 to 2½ years in prison.  Second time offenders may face up to 4 years in prison, and a previous violent offender could face 4½ years.

An arrest for selling 16 ounces or more of marijuana or a mixture containing marijuana is classified as criminal sale of a controlled substance in the 1st degree (New York State Penal Law § 221.55), a Class C felony punishable by 1 to 5½ years in prison.  Second time offenders may face up to 8 years in prison, and a previous violent offender could face 9 years.

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Federal Penalties for Marijuana (Sale, Possession)


Possession of Marijuana

The penalties for possession of marijuana are set forth in 21 U.S. Code § 844 – Penalties for simple possession:

A first conviction for possession of any amount of marijuana is punishable by up to 1 year in jail, as well as a minimum fine of $1,000.

A second conviction for possession of any amount of marijuana is punishable by up to a minimum time in jail of 15 days and a maximum period of 2 years, as well as a minimum fine of $2,500.

third conviction for possession of any amount of marijuana is punishable by up to a minimum time in jail of 90 days and a maximum period of 3 years, as well as a minimum fine of $5,000.


Sale of Marijuana

The penalties for the of sale or possession with intent to sell marijuana are set forth in 21 U.S.C. § 841 (*Note: these are the penalties for the first conviction with no enhancing factors):

Sale or possession with intent to sell less than 50kg of a mixture containing marijuana is punishable by up to 5 years in jail, as well as a maximum fine of $250,000.

Sale or possession with intent to sell more than 50kg but less than 100kg of a mixture containing marijuana is punishable by up to 20 years in jail, as well as a maximum fine of $1,000,000.

Sale or possession with intent to sell more than 100kg  of a mixture containing marijuana is punishable by up a minimum of 5 years in jail and a maximum of 40 years in jail, as well as a maximum fine of $2,000,000.


What else do you need to know?

Frequently asked Questions about Drug Crimes

A Brief History of New York Drug Laws

Have you been charged with a marijuana drug offense in New York?

Contact us today for a free consultation: (646) 742-9800