Cannabis Control Board Approves Home Grow Regulations For Medical Patients And Designated Caregivers

September 20, 2022

Today, the Cannabis Control Board approved final regulations allowing certified medical cannabis patients and designated caregivers in New York to grow their own cannabis at home.

This vote paves the way for medical cannabis patients in New York to have a more affordable option to access their medicine.

Under these approved regulations:

  1. Certified patients or designated caregivers will be allowed to grow up to three mature and three immature cannabis plants at one time;
  2. If a designated caregiver is growing for multiple patients, they can grow up to six mature and six immature plants at one residence.

“Today’s approval of the medical home grow regulations is a monumental step forward in improving New York State’s medical cannabis program,” said Tremaine Wright, Chair of the Cannabis Control Board. “We are creating opportunities for patients across the state to access the medicine they need on their own terms, giving those individuals guided autonomy over how they choose to get their medicine, whether it be from the comfort of their own backyards or at their neighborhood medical dispensary.”

“During the process of building the Office of Cannabis Management we recognize that one shoe doesn’t fit all, and today’s vote from the Cannabis Control Board makes sure patients have the options they deserve to get high-quality and safe medicine,” said the Office of Cannabis Management Executive Director Chris Alexander. “Since our launch, we have been laser-focused on improving cannabis access for patients in our state’s medical program. Allowing patients or their designated caregivers to grow their own cannabis plants will eliminate many barriers to access, and I’m excited that the Office of Cannabis Management is providing the information and education to help medical patients succeed at home cultivation.”

“What we are building in New York is not exclusive to business opportunities. We are also ensuring that this plant is for the people, especially when it comes to our medical cannabis patients,” said Office of Cannabis Management Chief Equity Officer Damian Fagon. “If today symbolizes anything, let it be a win for the communities throughout the state who have historically been barred from accessing proper health care.  I hope we can give peace of mind to those medical patients whose access to this plant is a fundamental human right. Plus, I know New Yorkers have green thumbs, I’ve seen beautiful, impressive grows and farms from one end of the state to the other, and I trust our medical patients and their caregivers will be no different.”

These regulations will go into effect on October 5, 2022. The Office of Cannabis Management has created resources for certified patients, designated caregivers, and others here and an FAQ that can be found here.

Cannabis Control Board Also Approves Amendments to New York Cannabinoid Hemp (CBD) Program Regulations

Additionally, the Cannabis Control Board voted to approve updated amendments to the regulations for New York’s Cannabinoid Hemp program. The New York State Office of Cannabis Management regulates hemp used or marketed for its cannabinoid content, such as cannabidiol, commonly known as “CBD”. Cannabinoid hemp products include many CBD products available for purchase today, including tinctures, oils, topicals, pills, capsules, and food or beverages that are intended for human consumption.

Some of the changes under these approved regulations include:

  1. Creating a new license type to make it easier for the licensed hemp farmers in New York State to manufacture and sell their own cannabinoid hemp flower products to duly licensed retailers or sell those products themselves if they have a retail license.
  2. Providing requirements for the use of the term “craft” in the labeling and marketing of cannabinoid hemp products.
  3. Removing the requirement that cannabinoid hemp products be shelf-stable, allowing for a broader array of products;
  4. Raising the per serving milligram (mg) cap for dietary supplement cannabinoid hemp products from 75 mg to 100 mg to better align with products in the market;
  5. Requiring cannabinoid hemp processors to include on the label the state(s) where the hemp used to manufacture the product was sourced from;
  6. Adding additional requirements to ensure cannabinoid hemp products manufactured out-of-state meet the requirements of the NY program.

These amended regulations will go into effect on October 5, 2022. 

New York’s Cannabinoid Hemp Program requires anyone who is processing, manufacturing, or selling cannabinoid hemp to first obtain a license from the Cannabinoid Hemp Program. 

Cannabinoid Hemp Program regulations establish standards for manufacturing, laboratory testing, and packaging and labeling to provide industry clarity and protect health and safety of New Yorkers. You can view the regulations here

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets oversees hemp cultivation and hemp used exclusively for industrial or food purposes. 

Cannabis Control Board Approves Additional 10 Adult-Use Processor Licenses, There are Now 25 Conditional Processor Licensees Across New York State to Process Cannabis into Finished Consumer Products

Today, New York’s Cannabis Control Board approved an additional 10 processors, adding to the initial 15 processors granted licenses at the August 15, 2022 Board Meeting. These 25 Adult-Use Conditional Processor Licenses comprise a key part of the supply chain supporting the opening of New York’s adult-use cannabis market through the Seeding Opportunity Initiative. Through the Initiative, processors will take adult-use cannabis currently being grown by New York farmers and process it into consumer cannabis products. These products will then be sold at New York’s first retail dispensaries, through the Seeding Opportunity Initiative’s Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary program.  

The Conditional Processor License was created by legislation signed by Governor Kathy Hochul in February 2022.

To qualify, processors must hold a Cannabinoid Hemp Processor License issued by the Office of Cannabis Management and have applied for the license prior to January 1, 2022. Adult-Use Conditional Processors must participate in a mentorship program meant to provide pathways to industry and entrepreneurship opportunities for social equity applicants.

The application opened on June 28, 2022 and closed on August 31, 2022. Applications which were submitted before the deadline will continue to be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis. 

The Seeding Opportunity Initiative positions equity entrepreneurs to be the first to make adult-use cannabis sales in New York with products grown by New York farmers. Under the Initiative, licenses would be awarded for Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries to equity entrepreneurs who must meet two prongs of eligibility to qualify. 

First, they must have a cannabis-related conviction that occurred prior to the passage of the Marihuana Regulation and Tax Act (MRTA) on March 31, 2021, or had a parent, guardian, child, spouse, or dependent with a pre-MRTA cannabis-related conviction in the State of New York. Second, they must also have experience owning and operating a successful business in the State of New York.  Also, eligible for CAURD Licenses are qualifying non-profit organizations; specifically organizations with a history of serving justice-involved individuals and creating vocational opportunities for them.

Cannabis Control Board Approves an Additional 19 Adult-Use Conditional Cultivators, There Are Now 261 Farms in New York Approved to Grow Adult-Use Cannabis.

The Cannabis Control Board approved an additional 19 Adult-use Cannabis Conditional Cultivator Licenses, growing the total number of approved Adult-Use Cannabis Conditional Cultivator Licenses to 261.

To be eligible to apply, farmers must have been authorized to grow hemp under the Department of Agriculture and Markets Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program.

The OCM will continue to review and approve the valid applications submitted before the deadline. The deadline to submit an application was June 30, 2022. 

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