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Finally, Cannabis Is Legal in the State of New York



Finally, cannabis is legal in the state of New York.

It has been a long time coming after many years of failed weed proposals to legalize cannabis in the state. On the last day of March 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill making New York the 15th state in the country to legalize adult-use cannabis.

Just hours after the state’s Senate and Assembly passed the legislation the night before, the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) decriminalizes cannabis and allows for the regulation of its sale, production, and use.

Cannabis is Legal in the State of New York But What Is Legal?

In the state of New York, medical and adult-use cannabis will be regulated by the newly-established Office of Cannabis Management (OCM).

The industry is expected to bring in $350 million in annual tax revenue and billions of dollars and sales. It is expected to create between 30,000 to 60,000 jobs. It’s expected to be the largest market for cannabis behind California.

Minimum age requirement: 21

Possession limit: Up to 3 ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of cannabis concentrates; 5 pound limit at home

Home cultivation limit: Up to 6 plants for personal use (up to 3 can be mature); Up to 12 plants per household

Tax rate: 13%

Social Equity

Under the MRTA, 50% of establishment licenses must be issued to social equity applicants.

Social equity applicants include:

  • Applicants who are from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition
  • Women-owned businesses
  • Distressed farmers
  • Service-disabled veterans

For businesses with 25 or more employees, the OCM will give priority to applicants that have set up peace labor agreements or use union labor to build their facility. A two-year review from the OCM will determine if a licensee meets its eligibility requirements.

Criminal Justice and Record Expungement

Currently, low-level possession of cannabis results in thousands of arrests per year, 90% of which are people of color in New York. Now, possession will no longer be criminalized and those criminal records will be erased.

The law will automatically expunge or resentence anyone with a prior cannabis conviction that would be legal under the new law. Individuals with past convictions would be allowed to participate in the new adult-use market.

In addition, the law adds cannabis to the clean indoor air act which determines where cannabis can be smoked or vaped. However, individual jurisdictions can create stricter regulations to control cannabis smoking and vaping in public.


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Social Consumption and Delivery

Social consumption facilities and delivery services will be permitted.

However, cities and towns have the option to opt-out of commercial cannabis activity. Individual jurisdictions must opt-out by December 31, 2021.

Medical Program Expansion

The MRTA directs authority over the state’s medical cannabis program from the Department of Health to the OCM.

In particular, the law does the following:

  • Expands the list of medical conditions eligible for medical marijuana use
  • Increases the number of caregivers allowed per patient
  • Allows medical cannabis patients to cultivate cannabis at home (including outdoors)
  • Expands possession limits of medical cannabis to a 60-day supply, up from the previous 30-day limit
  • Removes restrictions on smoking medical cannabis

Cannabinoid Hemp

The MRTA directs authority over the state’s hemp program from the Department of Agriculture and Markets to the OCM.

The bill allows for the sale of hemp flower (available at adult-use dispensaries).

Tax Revenue

Tax revenue from the state’s adult-use market will be directed to the New York state cannabis revenue fund. The funds will cover reasonable costs to run the program and implement the law. The rest of the funding will be split three ways:

  • 40% to Education
  • 40% to Community Grants Reinvestment Fund
  • 20% to Drug Treatment and Public Education Fund

Traffic Safety

The New York State Department of Health alongside higher education institutions will conduct a study designed to evaluate methodologies and technologies for the detection of cannabis-impaired driving.

The law will direct funding to increase the number of trained and certified drug-recognition experts and provide increased drug recognition awareness and advanced roadside impaired driving enforcement training.

Cannabis is Legal in the State of New York Road Ahead

Why has it taken so long to legalize weed in New York? Ultimately, Governor Cuomo and the state legislature haven’t been able to compromise on the details of the adult-use program.

Even up to the last hours of debate, lawmakers hurriedly implemented changes and compromises. Previous proposals were stalled due to disagreements over how tax revenue should be distributed.

There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!

marijuana extraction course
– Johanna Rose
Makes $24.50 @ THC +

In the end, Democrat lawmakers fought for a major portion of the revenue to go to communities that have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. Governor Cuomo eventually made concessions that may have been largely influenced by his impeachment investigation.

No matter the reason, weed is legal in New York now. The bill has surprisingly become one of the most progressive bills implemented. From social equity and criminal justice reform to expansion of the medical program, New York’s industry has a promising future.

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If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest industry developments, subscribe to Cannabis Training University’s marijuana industry blog.

For a complete cannabis education on the industry’s most important topics, enroll in one of the online marijuana training courses from CTU.

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Virginia Becomes 16th State to Legalize Cannabis




It’s official. The state of Virginia has become the 16th state to legalize cannabis. Originally, lawmakers planned to allow adults 21 years of age and over to possess and grow weed starting January 1, 2024. However, Democratic Governor Ralph Northam proposed moving up the legalization timeline to allow adults to possess and grow cannabis starting on July 1, 2021.

What Is and Is Not Legal?

This new bill makes Virginia the first state in the South to legalize the simple possession of cannabis. The state’s House of Delegates and Senate approved the governor’s proposal with a razor-thin margin.

Starting on July 1, 2021, the following will be legal for adults aged 21 and older:

Possession Limit: Up to 1 ounce of cannabis

Home cultivation: Up to 4 plants

Gifting: Up to 1 ounce to any adult

Possessing more than the one-ounce limit and less than a pound can earn you a $25 fine. Possessing more than a pound can be charged with a felony punishable by 1 to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000.

In terms of home cultivation, each plant must be tagged with the growers name, driver’s license or state identification number, and a note that says it’s being grown for personal use. Plants must also be not visible from a public street or be accessible to minors.

Growing between 5 and 10 plants can earn you a $250 fine. Growing more than 50 plants is punishable with a felony charge.

Retail sales would still have to wait until regulations go into effect on January 1, 2024.

Virginia lawmakers must still meet during their general session in 2022 to re-approve the regulatory framework of the bill.

Close Call

Governor Northam has been a strong proponent of reforming the Virginia cannabis law. In February 2021, lawmakers sent amendments to his desk to legalize recreational cannabis. Late in March, the governor submitted his revisions the both chambers:

The House and Senate passed these amendments by the following majorities:

  • House: 53-44
  • Senate: 21-20

In the Senate, Democratic Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax broke the tie.

After the initial votes, both chambers passed each other’s proposals to effectively move up the legalization date and pass other amendments without any further approval from the governor.

Democratic House of Delegates Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn said of the decision: “Today, with the Governor’s amendments, we will have made tremendous progress in ending the targeting of Black and brown Virginians through selective enforcement of marijuana prohibition by this summer”

Social Equity

A major part of the push for the bill by the governor was his insistence on repairing the damage caused by the war on drugs. One study found that Black Virginians were 3.5 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis crimes compared with white people. It also found that they were more likely to be convicted at a rate of 3.9 times higher than white people.


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Even after the state lowered penalties for possession to a $25 fine, a disproportionate amount of Black people were still being charged.

The new law allows for the automatic sealing of past misdemeanor cannabis convictions. It also creates a petition-based process that allows individuals with more serious cannabis convictions to clear their records.

30% of the revenue from cannabis would be directed to communities most affected by the war on drugs to the Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Fund. Funds would go to scholarships, job placement services, workforce development, and low- or no-interest loans for those wanting to start a cannabis business.

The bill would also give preference in licensing to those affected by the war on drugs. Virginians who have been convicted of a cannabis-related charge or who have a family member who has been convicted, or live in an area that is disproportionately affected by the war on drugs would get preferential treatment for licensing for any license type.

Public Health Education and Enforcement

The governor’s substitute bills will direct funding to public health education and law enforcement services including:

  • Public Health Education: $1 million to educate the youth about the health risks of cannabis.
  • Law Enforcement: $1 million to increase and improve training law enforcement to “recognize and prevent drugged driving.”

Employee Rights

In a win for employee rights, an amendment passed would give regulators authority to revoke a business license if an establishment interferes with attempts to organize a union.

In addition, license revocation could happen if a company “fails to pay a prevailing wage as defined by the United States Department of Labor” or have more than 10% of employees listed as independent contractors.

Fighting for More Reform

Racial justice advocates have been at the forefront fighting for speedy and efficient legalization from the start. The ACLU of Virginia and Marijuana Justice were extremely vocal against the legislature’s decision to delay legislation until 2024.

Advocates celebrated the recent victory but were still left wanting more. Virginia NORML Executive Director Jenn Michelle Pedini stated:

“In the interest of public and consumer safety, Virginians 21 and older should be able to purchase retail cannabis products at the already operational dispensaries in 2021, not in 2024. Such a delay will only exacerbate the divide for equity applicants and embolden illicit activity.”

Members of the Cannabis Equity Coalition of Virginia argued for at least 70% of tax revenues to be directed to the reinvestment fund.

Public Favors Legalization

These recent changes in the law accurately reflect current public support for legalization. A recent February 2021 poll from the Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center for Civic Leadership found that two-thirds (68%) of Virginian adults supported recreational legalization. Only a slight majority (51%) of Republican-registered voters supports this.

Northam Approves Additional Reforms

In addition to the recent legislation, Governor Northam had recently approved several amendments to strengthen reform efforts and protect cannabis patients.

There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!

marijuana extraction course
– Johanna Rose
Makes $24.50 @ THC +

Early in March, Governor Northam approved legislation that would allow retailers to dispense botanical medical cannabis. Previously, license cultivators were required to process cannabis into oils and tinctures. Now, medical cannabis patients will be able to purchase products made of cannabis oil or botanical cannabis as early as September 2021.

In addition, the amendments would make telehealth improvements passed after COVID-19 permanent, and give patients in residential facilities increased access to medical cannabis.

In late March, the governor signed House Bill 1862 which gives employment protections for medical cannabis patients. It would prohibit employers from firing, disciplining, or discriminating against employees who use medical cannabis off the clock.

All of these measures take effect July 1, 2021.

Online Cannabis Education

Stay up-to-date with the latest cannabis industry developments by subscribing to the Cannabis Training University marijuana industry blog. For a comprehensive cannabis education, enroll in online marijuana training.

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Can You Mail Weed Legally in The United States?




Have you ever had someone ask you to ship them some cannabis? Perhaps a little something to help Aunty Dot’s arthritis? We know the feeling of going to the Post Office – anxious as hell – to ship an ‘innocent’ brownie to your old mate in Wyoming (where cannabis isn’t legal yet). We wish to tell you it was cool, but it’s not.

The simple answer to the title question would be an unfortunate ‘no’. Even though cannabis has been legalized in most U.S states, ironically to some, marijuana is still very much illegal at the federal level.

And, since the United States Postal Service is a federal entity, cannabis is forbidden via U.S mailing routes.

With that said, there’s more to the rule than meets the general eye. In this article attempts to answer the question of ‘can you mail weed legally in the United States’, we take a closer look at the current legal state of mailing cannabis.

USPS Guidelines Allows Hemp in Mail, but…

In 2019, new guidelines from the US Postal Service revealed the federal agency will ship and deliver some cannabis products, from then on. But wait a minute, these will be specifically hemp products.

Of course, Hemp is a form of cannabis that contains minimal amounts of THC, so it won’t get anyone buzzed and is hence okay to mail. And if you want to ship hemp and CBD products through the USPS, you must have a license from the respective state’s Department of Agriculture. What else do the new guidelines incur? Here’s a roundup;

  • The mailer of the hemp or CBD products must obey by all applicable federal, state, and local laws – such as the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 and the Agricultural Act of 2014  – pertaining to the production, processing, distribution, and sales of hemp.
  • The guidelines state the USPS will now handle cannabis products made from hemp that contains less than 0.3 percent THC.
  • The mailer must retain records establishing compliance with such laws, including laboratory test results, licenses, or compliance reports, for no less than 2 years after the date of mailing.

With the above said, the question, ‘can you mail weed legally in the United States?’, is yet to be answered. Without further ado, let us consider the risks of shipping weed before we make an ultimate conclusion.

Risks of Shipping Weed by Mail

The risks of mailing marijuana remain significant.

  • You can be charged two ways: Either under federal law, or the law of the state in which the cannabis originated; or the state to which it was sent.
  • Charges will be compounded for interstate trafficking, based on the quantity of the marijuana.
  • Worsening matters, USPS and private carriers’ employees are offered rewards for any useful information leading to the mailing of illegal substances including marijuana. So, as the recipient, your participation in the shipment is enough to involve you.
  • Probably the least of your concern, is that if your product is found, it’s likely to be confiscated. Every year, the DEA publishes particular data on the amount of seized cannabis, and in 2017, the record was broken for Colorado.

How about mailing edibles? Is it any safer than a few grams of cannabis? Let’s take a closer look in the next section.


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A Word on Shipping Edibles

Smuggling edibles through the airport or mailing isn’t very hard if done in small amounts. It really comes down to when you want them to arrive. Just don’t use your real return address or details – and don’t be lazy about the packaging: Make it as discreet as possible.

What About Third-Party Carriers?

Unlike the USPS, third-party carriers such as UPS, FedEx and DHL are not federal agencies. As such, they do not have to obtain a warrant to search a suspicious package, and thus it certainly doesn’t make it safer than USPS.

Seeing that private carriers have the right to open and inspect any package at their own discretion, the chances of your parcel getting busted is pretty good. Furthermore, large private carriers have affirmed their willingness to cooperate with federal law enforcement in this regard.

So, Can You Get Away With?

With everything said on the subject, we are still indebted to fully answer the initial burning question: Can you mail weed legally in the united states? Well, if you must… It is possible to send marijuana via the mail, but it’s certainly not recommended! It happens every day and people get away with it, but remember there’s a huge but.

The best advice we can give our fellow cannabis enthusiasts and constituents is to mail no more than 28 grams of flower, which is California’s legal limit on recreational marijuana possession.

There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!

marijuana extraction course
– Johanna Rose
Makes $24.50 @ THC +

Final Thoughts on Can You Mail Weed Legally?

Despite the challenges with shipping marijuana and hemp, this USPS provides some much needed insight where there has historically been no information on this topic. Although it will take some time before you can legally mail weed in the United States, these new guidelines definitely pave the way in the right direction.

If cannabis is legalized nationwide in the future, it will eliminate all of these issues concerning the shipping of cannabinoid-based products. It’s something to look forward to – but until then – we recommend visiting a legal state as often as you can and stock up at a local dispensary as much as you like – without the risks as explained in this article!

Stay On Top of Cannabis Laws

The only place to learn all the updated cannabis laws is Cannabis Training University! Enroll today so you can take advantage of many opportunities in the cannabis industry and earn your marijuana certification.

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How to Grow Marijuana Legally in the United States




Do you want to learn how to grow marijuana legally in the United States? Whether you want to grow at home for personal use or at a licensed cultivation facility, you must know your state and local cannabis cultivation laws.

In the United States, cannabis cultivation laws vary by state, county, and city. Our cannabis cultivation guide gives you an overview of the different state laws and requirements needed to grow cannabis for commercial or personal use.

How to Grow Marijuana Legally – Commercial Cultivation

If you’re a budding entrepreneur hoping to start a commercial cultivation business, you must consider the state and local requirements. Growing marijuana legally requires a license that varies in price and must be renewed annually.

In some states such as California and Colorado, cultivation licenses are tiered depending on the size of your grow facility, environment (indoor, outdoor greenhouse), and the number of plants being grown.

Application fees start as low as $250 in Washington with an additional $1,480 annual license fee. In other states, application fees can easily reach $25,000 with an annual license fee of $75,000 or $100,000 in Arkansas.

How to Grow Marijuana Legally – Home Cultivation

Cannabis home cultivation laws vary by state. Generally, growers must be over the age of 21 to legally grow weed with a home cultivation limit of 6 plants. Growers must only grow for personal use and cannot sell their home-grown weed.

If you’re planning on growing weed legally at home, make sure to research your state and local laws. Local laws will determine the set-up of your indoor or outdoor garden. Gardens must be away from public view and in an enclosed space.


  • Medical: Up to 6 plants per person over 21
  • Recreational: Up to 6 plants, household limit of 12


  • Medical: Up to 12 plants in a home if the residence is more than 25 miles from a dispensary
  • Recreational: Up to 6 plants, household limit of 12


  • Medical: Up to 100 square feet of grow area per residence
  • Recreational: Up to 6 plants


  • Medical: 6 plants, up to 12 plants per household; If local law allows, patients and caregivers can grow up to 24 plants if they are also registered with the MED and provide any required notice to the local jurisdictions
  • Recreational: 6 plants, up to 12 plants per household


  • Medical: No home cultivation for patients or caregivers


  • Medical: No home cultivation for patients or caregivers

District of Columbia

  • Medical: Up to 3 mature and 3 immature plants per patient, limit of 12 per residence
  • Recreational: Up to 3 mature and 3 immature plants per adult, limit of 12 per residence


  • Medical: No home cultivation for patients or caregivers


  • Medical: No home cultivation for patients or authorized guardians


  • Medical: Patients and caregivers may grow up to 10 plants at home


  • Medical: Up to 5 plants per household
  • Recreational: Decriminalized; Up to 5 plants per household results in a $200 fine


  • Medical: No home cultivation for patients or caregivers


  • Medical: No home cultivation for patients or caregivers


  • Medical: Up to 6 mature and 12 immature plants and unlimited seedlings
  • Recreational: Up to 3 mature and 12 immature plants and unlimited seedlings


  • Medical: No home cultivation for patients or caregivers



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  • Medical: Up to 6 plants (if the patient obtained a hardship cultivation registration)
  • Recreational: Up to 6 plants per person; household limit of 12


  • Medical: Up to 12 plants
  • Recreational: Up to 12 plants


  • Medical: No home cultivation for patients or caregivers


  • Medical: No home cultivation for patients or caregivers


  • Medical: A patient may possess up to 6 flowering plants, 6 nonflowering plants, and 6 clones. Two patients may share one enclosed, locked facility. No more than 12 plants may be grown in a single space unless the caregiver is growing on behalf of a third patient, in which case they may grow a total of 18 plants.


  • Medical: Up to 4 plants
  • Recreational: Up to 4 mature plants and 4 seedlings, 8 plant limit per household


  • Medical: Allowed if access to dispensaries is limited
  • Recreational: Up to 6 plants per person and 12 per resident if no dispensary is within 25 miles

New Hampshire

  • Medical: No home cultivation for patients or caregivers

New Jersey

  • Medical: No home cultivation for patients or caregivers
  • Recreational: Not yet determined

New Mexico

  • Medical: Qualified and registered patients and caregivers can grow up to 16 plants in their home, but only 4 may be mature at once
  • Recreational: Adults 21 and older can grow up to 6 mature and 6 immature cannabis plants, with a maximum of 12 mature plants per household

New York

  • Medical: 3 immature and 3 mature plants as of Oct. 1, 2021
  • Recreational: 3 immature and 3 mature plants (illegal until 18 months after the first adult dispensary opens; limit of 6 mature plants per household)

North Dakota

  • Medical: No home cultivation for patients or caregivers


  • Medical: No home cultivation for patients or caregivers


  • Medical: Qualified and registered patients and caregivers may grow up to 6 mature plants and 6 seedlings


  • Medical: Patients can grow 6 mature plants, 12 immature plants that are taller than 24 inches, and 36 immature plants that are shorter than 24 inches; Other limits apply related to zoning and previous laws with patients being grandfathered in
  • Recreational: Up to 4 plants per residence (some restrictions apply)


  • Medical: No home cultivation for patients or caregivers

Rhode Island

  • Medical: Qualified patients may grow up to 12 mature plants and 12 seedlings in their home. Registered caregivers may grow up to 24 mature plants in 24 seedlings in their home.

South Dakota

  • Medical: Up to 3 plants, or an amount prescribed by a physician
  • Recreational: Up to 3 plants, 6 plant limits per household (if there are no dispensaries in the jurisdiction an individual lives in)


There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!

marijuana extraction course
– Johanna Rose
Makes $24.50 @ THC +

  • Medical: No home cultivation allowed


  • Medical: No home cultivation allowed


  • Medical: Up to 2 mature and 7 immature plants (some restrictions apply)
  • Recreational: Up to 2 mature and 4 immature plants


  • Cultivation: Up to 4 plants; all plants must be tagged with the grower’s name, driver’s license number, and a note that says it’s being grown for personal use

West Virginia

  • Medical: No home cultivation for patients or caregivers


  • Medical: Up to 6 plants per patient; limit of 15 per residence
  • Recreational: Not allowed

Learn How to Grow Marijuana Legally at Cannabis Training University

If you’re interested in learning how to grow marijuana legally at home or for commercial purposes, enroll in Cannabis Training University’s online cannabis college.

CTU provides students from all over the world with a comprehensive curriculum that covers every aspect of the industry. Whether you’re a consumer or an entrepreneur, we can give you a well-rounded education so you can start growing marijuana today! We offer courses ranging from growing to cooking to how to start a medical marijuana business.

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