The state has 38 medical dispensaries, three of which are located in Suffolk County.
“They can include in their lease restriction on the ability to cultivate at home, but they cannot prevent a patient from participating in the medical program writ large,” he said. “There still is space as well for landlords to have smoke-free policies in their places of residence, but folks are protected from discrimination stemming from their participation in the market.”
The New York State Cannabis Control board issued regulations on Thursday to allow medical marijuana patients over 21 to grow up to six marijuana plants at home.
The plants cannot be in public view, must be locked up and monitored by security devices, and steps must be taken to lessen odors.
“Home cultivation will give medical patients and their caregivers another way to access needed medication,” said Richard Gottfried, who is chair of the state Assembly Health Committee and original medical marijuana bill sponsor.
The regulations will be open for public comment for 60 days, after which the board will finalize and implement them. Tremaine Wright, the chair of the board, said the plants must be properly stored and kept out reach of children.
Under the proposed regulations, designated caregivers over 21 will also be allowed to grow up to six plants for children, or adults unable to grow marijuana on their own who they are caring for. Patients can only have one caregiver growing on their behalf and caregivers may only grow one plant per patient over the initial six.
Alexander said dangerous chemicals involved in the processing of marijuana, such as butane, will also be prohibited under the regulations.
The regulations follow guidelines set by the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which allows three mature plants and three immature plants per person and a cap of six mature and six immature plants within any private residence. The act was passed in March, and legalized up to three ounces of marijuana. It is expected to take around two years to legalize recreational sales.
Once fully implemented, the expanded medical marijuana program will eventually allow for the sale of whole flower, allow for delivery services and add new qualifying conditions.
State Sen. Diane Savino, who has led the way on medical marijuana program, said she is not too concerned right now.
New York’s new marijuana law, the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, allows for medical marijuana patients to start growing plants at home six months after the bill is signed and after the Office of Cannabis Management issues regulations.
The process has been slow moving, but now that Gov. Kathy Hochul has made key appointments to the agency, things are starting to fall into place.
The Cannabis Control Board plans to meet for the first time publicly on Oct. 5.
“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.”
“They say you’re not supposed to see how the sausage is made, but I think this time it really is important,” Sen. Savino said. “We’re creating a new industry and an industry that affects three different areas of cannabis, not just adult use and how it’s going to be developed in New York State. We have an opportunity to really lead in this country, where other states have not.”
The new Office of Cannabis Management and its governing body, the Cannabis Control Board, will now be overseeing both the recreational and medical marijuana programs.
The Office of Cannabis Management now has a working number set up on its website. An automated voice explains the new law and offers first time marijuana users advice.
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.
Hochul was quick to assemble the Cannabis Control Board upon taking office in August. It held its second meeting on Thursday.
New York’s Cannabis Control Board issued regulations Thursday to allow medical marijuana users and their caregivers to grow their own supply at home.