"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.
Hochul was quick to assemble the Cannabis Control Board upon taking office in August. It held its second meeting on Thursday.
New York’s Cannabis Control Board issued regulations Thursday to allow medical marijuana users and their caregivers to grow their own supply at home.
This is the first major step taken by the Cannabis Control Board to put the provisions of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act into action. The law, which also legalized recreational marijuana in New York, passed in March. It included permission for home cultivation of medical marijuana but only after the board put regulations in place.
The board had six months to issue those rules, but former Gov. Andrew Cuomo never appointed its members during his tenure and that deadline passed.
The proposal, now open to public comment for 60 days, would permit the cultivation of up to six marijuana plants in a private residence. The regulation will take effect after the commentary period closes and the board finalizes its language.
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.
Attorney David Holland is a marijuana activist and executive director of Empire State Norml.
In New York, landlords are not allowed to discriminate against medical marijuana patients. But Alexander said an apartment lease can have home growing restrictions.
New Yorkers with medical marijuana cards are only a few months away from being able to cultivate cannabis at home.
“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.
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.”
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The Cannabis Control Board advanced regulations Thursday allowing medical cannabis to be grown at home. After a 60-day comment period, the board can make changes and then it will go into effect. It’s expected to make cannabis more affordable.
As New York’s new marijuana laws begin to go into effect, medical card holders will soon have much greater access.