New York approves self-cultivation for medical cannabis patients

New York approves self-cultivation for medical cannabis patients

Medical cannabis patients in New York will soon be allowed to grow their own cannabis under new rules decided at the second meeting of the Cannabis Control Board (CCB).

Home cultivation had been included in the bill approved by the legislature earlier this year It did, however, include provisions prohibiting home cultivation until retail sales are launched in the state, beginning in 2022.

Under the proposed rules, which still must go through a 60-day public comment period that the BCC can adjust before they go into effect, registered patients will be able to grow up to three immature (growing) and three mature (flowering) plants per individual or up to six immature and six mature plants per household.

Only for certified patients

“Only certified patients or their designated caregivers participating in the medical cannabis program will be able to legally purchase seeds or immature plants from a registered organization,” said Chris Alexander, executive director of the BCC. “And so, New Yorkers who are not participating in the medical program cannot yet cultivate and grow at home.”

Board members also approved the expungement of more than 200,000 criminal records for offenses that are no longer illegal in the state under the Adult Use Act.

CCD Executive Director Chris Alexander said the state was already refusing to conduct background checks on cannabis arrests and that those charges would eventually be expunged.

“When completed, the actions of these measures will have expunged the records of more than 400,000 New Yorkers, a staggering reminder of the impact that cannabis prohibition has had on so many people.” explained Chris Alexander.

As of 2019, the state had expunged some 198,000 cannabis-related criminal records, even before the sweeping legalization reforms.

During its first meeting earlier this month, the board permanently waived fees for medical cannabis patients and caregivers, made flower an approved form of medical cannabis in the state, and approved allowing patients to get a 60-day supply of medical cannabis instead of just a month.

Legal and adult-use sales of cannabis are expected in New York starting in 2022.

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