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.
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.
"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.
“We may not be exactly on time, but we’re not that far behind,” Sen. Savino said. “I fully anticipate that we will be catching up to speed and exceeding everybody’s goals and hopes.”
State Sen. Diane Savino, who has led the way on medical marijuana program, said she is not too concerned right now.
“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” Dr. Dahmer said. “We are ready to begin construction on a 200,000-square-foot expansion to our cultivation processing plant in Johnston, New York, where we have amazing team ready to support New Yorkers that are added to this program and participate in this program. So we’re ready for some traction.”
It will eventually be up to this agency to create regulations and issue licenses. Before, it was the Department of Health that oversaw the medical marijuana program.