Medical marijuana patients in
“Certified patients and designated caregivers over the age of 21” will be permitted to grow cannabis plants in early October, Nicole Quackenbush, the director of health and safety at the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM),
On Tuesday, the New York Cannabis Control Board accepted a resolution directing state regulators to adopt rules for registered medical marijuana patients to cultivate cannabis at home. Statewide, New York had 124,485 registered medical marijuana patients and 3,817 certifying practitioners as of September 1,
Under the new regulations, registered medical marijuana patients are permitted to grow up to six cannabis plants at home, only three of which can be mature. Certified medical marijuana caregivers, who can cultivate cannabis for up to four registered patients, will be allowed to grow up to 12 plants at a time.
Patients are allowed to possess up to five pounds of harvested cannabis, which is in line with regulations governing the legalization of recreational marijuana in New York. The rules also prohibit landlords from refusing to lease to patients or penalizing them for cultivating medical cannabis.
The board’s approval of the cannabis home cultivation regulations was applauded by the audience that had assembled for Tuesday’s meeting. The adoption of the new rules came about a year after a draft version, and several months after the board approved amended regulations following a public comment period for the draft proposal.
New York State Board Also Approves Updated Hemp Rules
The board also accepted amended regulations governing hemp-derived cannabinoids and approved a limited partnership agreement between the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) and Social Equity Impact Ventures to foster social equity in the regulated cannabis industry.
Axel Bernabe, the OCM’s senior policy director, said that the announcement about home cultivation had been approved was “a long, long time coming.” But he noted that the new hemp regulations were also key, and the changes focused on making sure small farmers “have the least burdensome way of getting their products to market.”
The hemp updates, which were revised after the board received public comments, include several technical adjustments such as removing a requirement for shelf stability and increasing the total cannabinoid content limit from 75 milligrams to 100 milligrams.
“Also, recognizing that not all countries and not all states have the same standards that New York has, we are requiring folks that are making products or importing hemp from out-of-state to tell us where it’s coming from,” Bernabe said.
Jen Metzger, a member of the New York Cannabis Control Board and a former state senator, said the regulatory change will “really improve the accessibility and affordability of cannabis for some patients.” But she warned novice cultivators to consider investing in the most energy-efficient cultivation equipment available to increase efficiency, not only to help the environment but “because it can have a huge impact on your electricity bills.”
After the board approved the medical marijuana home cultivation rules on Tuesday, Chris Alexander, the executive director of the OCM, said at the close of the hearing that the office has “prioritized patient access in this program,” and “it’s going to continue to be a priority.”
“I’m just really excited that we’re able to provide this more affordable option to patients to get access to that medicine,”