Legalization of Adult-Use Cannabis in NYS

Updated April 2, 2021

On March 31, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (S.854-A/A.1248-A) legalizing adult-use cannabis.

All higher education institutions that receive federal funding, including UB, must comply with the federal Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA), which requires, among other things, that the university take actions to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illegal drugs.  SUNY policy also mandates compliance with the DFSCA. The university also must have standards of conduct and sanctions for employees and students related to unlawful possession, use or distribution of illegal drugs. 

Regardless of any provisions of state law, marijuana and products containing marijuana are illegal controlled substances under federal law.  Therefore, the legalization of recreational use of marijuana in New York does not change the university’s obligations under the DFSCA. There are no plans to change any UB policies or UB's Student Code of Conduct.