Growing or Cultivating Marijuana

In the State of New York, the act of cultivating or growing marijuana is a misdemeanor. When larger amounts of marijuana are grown, the more serious charges are for the possession or sell of the same marijuana being cultivated.
If you are charged with growing or cultivating cannabis in the State of New York, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner.

Rochelle Berliner is an active member of the NORML Legal Committee, an organization that fights for the reform of marijuana laws throughout the State of New York and the rest of the country.

Queens Marijuana Cultivation Lawyer

From filing motions to dismiss the charges for insufficient evidence to filing motions to dismiss the criminal charges, Rochelle Berliner fights the charges aggressively. Call today to discuss the charges of growing cannabis in Queens County, New York, or the surrounding areas in New York City, including Brooklyn, The Bronx and Manhattan.

Overview of Marihuana Cultivation Laws

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Growing Cannabis by an Unlicensed Persons under NY PHL § 3382

The offense is charged as the "growing of the plant known as cannabis by unlicensed persons" under New York's Public Health Law § 3382 which provides:

"A person who, without being licensed so to do under this article, grows the plant of the genus Cannabis or knowingly allows it to grow on his land without destroying the same, shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor."

The charge of growing cannabis is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Although this charge is a misdemeanor, law enforcement will often charge the person with additional charges for possession of the same marijuana being cultivated.

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No Double Jeopardy for Charging Growing and Possessing Cannabis

Parmeter v. Feinberg, 105 A.D.2d 886, 887-88, 482 N.Y.S.2d 78, 79-80 (1984), stands for the proposition that possession of the same marijuana can be prosecuted under the Penal Law for "criminal possession of marihuana" and the Public Health law for "growing marijuana without a license." In other words, both types of criminal offenses can be charged when a person is caught growing marijuana.

In Parmeter, the court held that charging both crimes for possession of the same marijuana does not violate double jeopardy. The court found that both charges were designed to prevent very different kinds of harm or evil. The court explained:
It is also obvious that the two transgressions are designed to prevent very different kinds of unlawful activity. The Public Health Law is intended to prevent the propagation of the plant within this State, while article 221 of the Penal Law is directed to controlling availability and use of the substance in quantities sufficient to indicate an intent to distribute.

"We conclude that there is no impediment to petitioner's prosecution under section 221.30 of the Penal Law. The Penal Law is designed to increase penalties based upon the weight of the forbidden substances possessed. On the other hand, the element of weight is not involved in the growing offense. [The two types of criminal charges] are thus easily distinguishable on this basis."

Because the crime for the "criminal possession of marihuana" increased penalties based upon the weight of the substance, it is almost always the more serious charge. Therefore, the more marijuana being cultivated or grown, the more serious the charges.

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Finding a Lawyer for Growing Cannabis Charges

If you are charged with growing cannabis by an unlicensed person under NY PHL § 3382, then contact the Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner. Queens criminal defense attorney Rochelle Berliner represents clients throughout Queens County and the surrounding areas of New York City, including Manhattan, The Bronx, and Brooklyn.

Whether you are charged with growing cannabis or more serious marijuana charges, let our firm review your case. Call 718-261-5600 or submit an online form to schedule a completely free initial consultation.

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Rochelle Berliner
Rochelle Berliner

Rochelle Berliner grew up in Queens, NY. She started New York Law School in January 1989 and graduated in June 1991. Immediately after law school, she started working at the New York County District Attorney’s Office, where she stayed for approximately 14 years...

  • National Police Accountability Project
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
  • New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
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