The Cannabis Control Board plans to meet for the first time publicly on Oct. 5.
“If you haven’t used cannabis before or it has been a while, it’s good to start low and go slow,” the automated voice said.
“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.”
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.
“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” Dr. Dahmer said. “We are ready to begin construction on a 200,000-square-foot expansion to our cultivation processing plant in Johnston, New York, where we have amazing team ready to support New Yorkers that are added to this program and participate in this program. So we’re ready for some traction.”
State Sen. Diane Savino, who has led the way on medical marijuana program, said she is not too concerned right now.
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.
It will eventually be up to this agency to create regulations and issue licenses. Before, it was the Department of Health that oversaw the medical marijuana program.
Dr. Stephen Dahmer, chief medical officer of Goodness Growth Holdings, Vireo Health, one of the first companies to offer medical marijuana to patients in New York, said they are eager to see the industry expand and are preparing to be an integral part of the growing medical marijuana program.
Hochul was quick to assemble the Cannabis Control Board upon taking office in August. It held its second meeting on Thursday.
This is the first major step taken by the Cannabis Control Board to put the provisions of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act into action. The law, which also legalized recreational marijuana in New York, passed in March. It included permission for home cultivation of medical marijuana but only after the board put regulations in place.
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.
The board had six months to issue those rules, but former Gov. Andrew Cuomo never appointed its members during his tenure and that deadline passed.
"I applaud Governor [Kathy] 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,” State Senator Diane Savino said in a statement on the new regulations.
New York’s Cannabis Control Board issued regulations Thursday to allow medical marijuana users and their caregivers to grow their own supply at home.
Medical marijuana has been legal in The Empire State since 2014, but it hasn’t always been easy to access. Patients in New York have to be approved by a medical professional and must acquire their marijuana from a licensed dispensary. Those products can be expensive and aren’t typically covered by insurance. One company, Vireo Health, recommends patients bring between $100 and $350 on their first visit to a dispensary.
“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,” Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright said in a statement on Thursday’s vote to approve the medical marijuana regulations.
While Stable Garden currently helps people cultivate cannabis in Massachusetts, New Yorkers with medical cards will soon be allowed as well.
“Cost wise, cannabis can fetch prices of up to $400 an ounce. And if you can grow cannabis in the backyard for pennies an ounce then you are really saving a lot of money,” McGuire said.
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“It is something that I find relieves a lot of symptoms of anxiety and depression,” Chappaqua resident Michael McGuire said. He is a medical marijuana card holder and the founder of Stable Garden, a company that helps people grow cannabis at home.