Our Cannabis Industry Team reported this week on new guidance for growing medical marijuana at home in New York state.

Traditionally, patients certified by health care providers to register with the state’s Medical Cannabis Program were permitted to buy medical cannabis from one of approximately 40 dispensaries throughout New York state; or to designate caregivers to visit the dispensaries on their behalf. But for patients and caregivers with limited transportation or mobility, guidance for growing plants at home removes the barrier of accessibility that challenges the underserved populations who may need medical cannabis the most. And like other regulations for managed use, legalizing home cultivation will likely curtail abuse and support compliance with treatment regimens.

Proposed regulation for home growers will:

  • Allow medical marijuana patients to grow up to three mature plants and three immature plants per person, with up to six mature and six immature plants allowed at a private residence
  • Allow a designated caregiver age 21 or over caring for a person under age 21 or someone unable to cultivate their own to grow up to six cannabis plants for the patient
  • Restrict the sale of cannabis seeds, immature and mature plants and flower products except to registered organizations
  • Require plants to be kept in a secure location

The guidance is a positive sign regarding the Cannabis Control Board’s focus on medical marijuana as a critical component of managed use in New York state. We believe that feedback during the comment period will highlight the benefits of home cultivation for health care providers and their patients.

Stay tuned to our blog for updates on medical marijuana and cannabis in New York state.