Starting Wednesday, New York medical marijuana patients are legally able to grow their own Cannabis at home, reports WROC.
Lawmakers approved the legislation in late September. Advocates say it allows more access to those who have chronic conditions or other ailments that qualify — especially low-income patients.
For the first time, New York patients — and not just their caregivers — can grow marijuana inside their own homes.
Three Mature, Three Immature Plants
Patients can legally grow up to three “mature” female plants and three immature female plants. But the rules allow no more than 12 total plants per household.
“It is a big step forward for medical patients,” said Lyla Hunt. Hunt is deputy director of public health for the New York State Office of Cannabis Management. ”We’ve seen real extreme interest from patients and designated caregivers to have the ability to cultivate cannabis at home.”
New York’s medical cannabis program has been effective since 2016. And it just got better: lawmakers recently expanded it to allow for more qualifying conditions.
“Today Marks History”
“Today marks history in the cannabis industry,” said Britni Tantalo, who with her husband Jayson owns Flower City Hydroponics in Fairport. ”Most medical marijuana cardholders only had access to medical dispensaries, which have limited products or things that don’t tailor to their ailments.”
“We know our community and a lot of people are kind of breaking down that stigma and want access,” Tantalo said. ”We were just waiting for legislation to meet what I believe everyone truly wanted.”
Flower City Hydroponics is holding an event this Saturday at their Fairport location on Pittsford Palmyra Road. A licensed medical practitioner will be on site. Those who are interested and eligible can register for New York medical marijuana cards there from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The new rules only apply to those registered as either certified patients or designated caregivers of patients, reports Rockland County Business Journal. Patients become certified by contacting a certified health care provider and determining with the practitioner whether medical marijuana is necessary for them.
Patients must be 21 years or older to access home-growing. Then, after getting certified, patients must register online for an identification card to prove their eligibility.
For more details on eligibility and other resources offered by New York, visit the state’s website.