New Yorkers registered as patients with the state will soon be able to grow their own cannabis.
The New York Cannabis Control Board held its second meeting on Thursday, in which it released regulatory proposals for home cultivation that were due to be done weeks ago. But former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who resigned amid growing allegations of sexual harassment, had failed to name cannabis regulators by the time he resigned in August, even though he had signed the law. on adult use in March, and therefore the regulatory regime languished until Gov. Kathy Hochul took office.
“We are proud to present these proposed regulations,” said Tremaine Wright, CCB President. Patients cannot yet grow their own cannabis. The regulations will now be posted on a state registry and will be subject to a 60-day public comment window.
“Home cultivation of medical cannabis will provide certified patients with a cost-effective means of obtaining cannabis through personal cultivation, while creating a set of standards governing the conduct and activities of personal cannabis cultivation,” Wright said.
Certified patients, or their caregiver, must be 21 years of age or older and will be allowed to grow up to six plants (three mature and three immature). Households cannot grow more than 12 plants in total. However, there will be exceptions to who can grow, as owners reserve the right to prohibit home growing cannabis. It is also not allowed in federally subsidized housing.
Regarding potential hires, Wright said the board has shown a lot of interest in vacancies and managers are “busy canvassing, reviewing resumes and interviewing.” .
“We also continued to work with our partners in government to ensure a smooth transition from day-to-day staff to the new [Office of Cannabis Management] Office. The transition is currently underway, ”she said, adding that she had also met with staff from the Cannabinoid Hemp Program.
The Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management, Chris Alexander, also presented a report on the erasure of cannabis records. Under the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes sponsored, the deregistration process is automatic, but the agencies have up to two years to create the framework. About 198,000 records were deleted in 2019, Alexander said, and another 203,000 are now “deleted” from criminal background searches while they are in the process of being deleted.
“No one should have records for the same activities that are now legalized, and businesses are making a profit,” Alexander said.
Wright said there are currently 38 medical cannabis stores across New York City. However, gray market vendors of cannabidiol, delta-8 THC, and delta-9 THC products have appeared, from New York bodegas to street fairs.
Wright reminded meeting attendees that the adult use market has not been launched.
“We don’t have adult use or recreational clinics. Anyone selling cannabis or marijuana products in those dispensaries, pop-up stores or unlicensed markets is not permitted, and they also do not sell products that have been tested to be safe, ”Wright said, noting that all sales or distributions unauthorized cannabis remains illegal.
Offering or transferring cannabis between adults 21 years of age or older without transferring money or services is legal, as long as everything remains within possession limits.
Yet, Wright said, perhaps anticipating what has happened in other jurisdictions, where people are selling pizza or T-shirts for higher prices and “giving away” cannabis, “the giveaway doesn’t. does not include cases where cannabis is donated at the same time as another transaction. or when offered or advertised in conjunction with an offer to sell goods or services.
The first CCB meeting focused on hiring for positions such as New York’s first director of equities. The board of directors also voted to authorize the cannabis flower in the existing medical market. Previously, only smokeless products, which generally cost patients more, were allowed.
The Council has also been busy behind the scenes. As Cannabis thread reported this week in our daily newsletter, Wright and Jen Metzger, a board member, recently visited Hepworth Farms and Earthborn Garden, two hemp farms in the state.
“The new cannabis industry will offer a wide range of opportunities in New York State and we need to ensure that as cannabis cultivation grows, it does so in a sustainable manner, minimizing the impact on our environment and climate, ”said Wright. noted.
Metzger added, “The farms we visited today offer exemplary models of sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices at different scales of cannabis cultivation, and I appreciated the opportunity to learn from them.