The New York Cannabis Control Board recently approved regulations that would expand the state’s medical cannabis industry and increase patient access to medical marijuana. Recently the board adopted regulations for medical cannabis home cultivations, approved conditional licenses for processors and cultivators, and appointed a new deputy counsel to the state’s Office of Cannabis Management.
Registered medical cannabis patients in New York will now be able to grow up to six plants at home without any legal consequence while caregivers can grow up to 12 cannabis plants. New York’s medical cannabis law allows designated caregivers to grow medical marijuana for up to four patients. Furthermore, the new regulations will bar landlords from penalizing or refusing to lease to patients who grow cannabis for medical purposes.
Medical marijuana patients in New York will now have a more affordable way to access cannabis. Recent research into the plant’s capabilities has found that it can be effective against conditions such as chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety disorders and gastrointestinal disorders.
The state’s medical cannabis industry has seen shockingly low participation levels. Participation levels in New York especially pale to Florida’s levels, which number 561,177 medical cannabis patients. As of March 2022, there were 125,303 medical cannabis patients and 3,603 certifying practitioners in New York.
The Cannabis Control Board also approved conditional licenses for 10 marijuana processors and 19 cultivators, bringing the total number of operators with conditional cultivator and processor licenses to 261 and 25 respectively. Furthermore, board members appointed Patricia Heer as the first deputy general counsel of the Office of Cannabis Management.
The position had been vacant since July when Rick Zahnleuter abruptly left the agency. Zahnleuter had been the OCM’s general counsel since August 2021. An amendment to New York’s cannabinoid hemp program creates a new kind of license that will, among other things, increase the maximum allowed cannabis serving from 75 milligrams to 100 milligrams per serving and allow farmers to sell the hemp they cultivate.
These regulations come soon after the end of a public comment period that saw members of the public provide feedback on the state’s medical cannabis home grow regulations. The Office of Cannabis Management amended certain parts of the regulations based on this feedback. According to Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright, the public’s participation made a significant difference. Wright also says that the staff at the Office of Cannabis Management did its research to make sure they crafted thoughtful, well-researched regulations for home cultivation.
The passing of the home-grow regulations now allows qualifying patients and their caregivers to leverage the latest vertical gardening technologies commercialized by companies such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) in the quest to harvest the highest-quality medical-grade cannabis.
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