New York’s Cannabis Control Board issued regulations Thursday to allow medical marijuana users and their caregivers to grow their own supply at home.
Medical marijuana has been legal in The Empire State since 2014, but it hasn’t always been easy to access. Patients in New York have to be approved by a medical professional and must acquire their marijuana from a licensed dispensary. Those products can be expensive and aren’t typically covered by insurance. One company, Vireo Health, recommends patients bring between $100 and $350 on their first visit to a dispensary.
"I applaud Governor [Kathy] Hochul, the Cannabis Control Board and the entire team at the Office of Cannabis Management for swiftly addressing this long-standing issue for certified patients and their caregivers,” State Senator Diane Savino said in a statement on the new regulations.
New York State Office of Cannabis Management executive director Chris Alexander said Thursday, “The unlicensed sale or trading of cannabis is prohibited in New York and home grow is not a license to do either.”
“They will be able to grow up to six plants for their own personal use. Three which will be full grown, three in their immature stages, not flowering yet,” he said.
Both indoor and outdoor growing will be allowed. Cannabis plants usually smell when they are ready to be harvested. According to experts, filtration devices can help with that.
As New York’s new marijuana laws begin to go into effect, medical card holders will soon have much greater access.
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While Stable Garden currently helps people cultivate cannabis in Massachusetts, New Yorkers with medical cards will soon be allowed as well.
“It is something that I find relieves a lot of symptoms of anxiety and depression,” Chappaqua resident Michael McGuire said. He is a medical marijuana card holder and the founder of Stable Garden, a company that helps people grow cannabis at home.
There will be rules in place once people are allowed to grow at home. According to the New York State Office of Cannabis Management, plants should not be accessible to anyone under the age of 21. And growers should keep plants secure and out of public view.
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Recreational growing and sales are still months away in New York.
In New York, landlords are not allowed to discriminate against medical marijuana patients. But Alexander said an apartment lease can have home growing restrictions.