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growing medical marijuana in new york state

Growing medical marijuana in new york state

Hochul was quick to assemble the Cannabis Control Board upon taking office in August. It held its second meeting on Thursday.

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.

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.

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.

New York’s Cannabis Control Board issued regulations Thursday to allow medical marijuana users and their caregivers to grow their own supply at home.

"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.

“Thanks to the quick action by Governor Hochul and the Legislature in appointing the Board and agency leadership, we are moving full-steam ahead and look forward to continuing to expand the medical program and building a new industry that will operate safely and deliver opportunity to the communities most harmed by the war on drugs,” Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright said in a statement on Thursday’s vote to approve the medical marijuana regulations.

Recreational growing and sales are still months away in New York.

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.

Attorney David Holland is a marijuana activist and executive director of Empire State Norml.

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“Cost wise, cannabis can fetch prices of up to $400 an ounce. And if you can grow cannabis in the backyard for pennies an ounce then you are really saving a lot of money,” McGuire said.

As New York’s new marijuana laws begin to go into effect, medical card holders will soon have much greater access.

While Stable Garden currently helps people cultivate cannabis in Massachusetts, New Yorkers with medical cards will soon be allowed as well.

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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.

“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.