The Cannabis Control Board today advanced regulations for public comment that will allow for the home cultivation of medical cannabis. The regulations follow the requirements of Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, allowing for up to three mature plants and three immature plants per person and a cap of six mature and six immature plants within any private residence. They will now be subject to a 60-day public comment period.
“With today’s vote, we are advancing these measures for the home cultivation of medical cannabis for the public’s input as we continue to expand the program and give more New Yorkers access to this medicine and the relief it provides,” Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright said. “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.”
Senator Diane Savino said, "I applaud Governor 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. The draft regulations clearly lay out a program that will allow limited home cultivation in a safe manner, preventing diversion and abuse and allowing patients and caregivers who may be far from existing dispensaries the ability to manage their use. I look forward to hearing the comments and recommendations to come during the public comment period and am confident New York will emerge as the leader in this space."
Assembly Health Committee Chair and original medical marijuana bill sponsor Richard Gottfried said, “Home cultivation will give medical patients and their caregivers another way to access needed medication. This follows the important recent addition of whole flower to the medical program, expansion of eligible practitioners, and removal of patient registration fees. I commend Governor Hochul and the Cannabis Control Board for another step towards a progressive, accessible medical cannabis program.”
The regulations for medical cannabis home cultivation announced today follow the Board’s action at its first meeting on Oct. 5 that allowed for the use of whole flower in the medical cannabis program and expanded the types of providers who can issue certifications to patients.
The regulations for medical cannabis home cultivation approved for public comment today outline participation with the following public health and safety measures:
- Allowing up to three mature plants and three immature plants per person and a cap of six mature and six immature within or on the grounds of any private residence.
- For designated caregivers who are 21 years old or older and who are caring for a patient under 21 or who is unable to cultivate on their own, the caregiver may grow up to six cannabis plants for one certified patient. However, no patient can have more than one caregiver growing on their behalf. If a caregiver has more than one medical patient, the caregiver may grow one plant for each patient they have above the first six.
- Making clear neither cannabis seeds, immature and mature plants, nor flower can be sold or bartered to any other person except by a registered organization.
- Requiring plants be kept in a secure location, using reasonable measures that neither the plants nor their products are readily accessible to anyone under the age of 21, by cultivating in an enclosed area not plainly visible from public view; taking reasonable steps to mitigate the odor; locking it up; and installing and maintaining security devices.
- Processing of cannabis at home with any liquid or gas, other than alcohol, that has a flashpoint below 100 degrees Fahrenheit is not allowed.
During today’s Cannabis Control Board meeting, the second since it was constituted September 22, the Office of Cannabis Management’s Executive Director Chris Alexander also updated Board members on the expungement and criminal justice aspects of the MRTA, which reformed New York’s justice system and strives to end decades of disproportionate enforcement of New York’s marijuana laws. Under the MRTA, records for people with previous convictions for activities that are no longer criminalized under the new law are automatically expunged.
Approximately 203,000 marijuana related charges are presently being suppressed from criminal background searches and are in process of being expunged, adding to the approximately 198,000 records that were expunged as part of the first round of marijuana expungement following legislation enacted in 2019.
Office of Cannabis Management Executive Director Chris Alexander said, “The MRTA reformed New York’s criminal justice system and strives to end decades of disproportionate enforcement of New York’s marijuana laws. A key component of these reforms is the expungement of past criminal convictions for individuals with previous convictions for activities that are no longer criminalized. When completed the actions of the 2019 and 2021 laws will have expunged the records of over 400,000 New Yorkers – a staggering reminder the impact that cannabis prohibition had on so many lives. The Office is committed to working with State and local partners to ensure New Yorkers are made aware of this relief.”