The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets today clarified that while a law passed in 2021 (S.2819-A/A.754) prohibits the sale of steel cylinders or cartridges filled with nitrous oxide to individuals under the age of 21, it does not restrict the sale of whipped cream containers commonly sold at grocery stores or convenience stores that use pre-pressurized cream and nitrous oxide to produce whipped cream.
To be clear: retailers are not required to request identification from any consumer purchasing whipped cream in cans, and consumers of all ages can legally purchase these whipped cream products.
However, retailers are required by law to verify that customers purchasing chargers or small cartridges containing nitrous oxide are over the age of 21. These small containers, usually sold at specialty food stores or restaurant supply stores, are filled exclusively with nitrous oxide, without any cream or edible substance. While intended for culinary use, these cartridges have been known to be abused by minors and can lead to unconsciousness or, in rare cases, death.