From left, New York Cannabis Control Board Members Axel Bernabe, Jen Metzger, and Chair Tremaine Wright speak at yesterday’s Board meeting in Albany, NY.

Home growing for medical patients will be legal in New York state on October 5, following an unanimous vote yesterday of the state’s Cannabis Control Board.

The new home grow regulations will allow medical patients to grow up to three mature and three immature plants in their home. The patient can also designate no more than one caregiver to grow on their behalf. Caregivers may grow for multiple patients, but regardless of how many patients, they will be bound to just six mature and six immature plants. They go into effect on October 5, which is the next date that the state’s regulation register is updated.

“I’m really thrilled we’re taking this step,” said Board member Jen Metzger. “I think it’s really going to improve that accessibility and affordability. I look forward to our next step and completing the regulation for adult use.”

Metzger also suggested that home growers be mindful of how they decide to grow.

“Consider trying to take the most energy efficient approach because it can have a huge impact on your energy bills and, of course, it’s better for the planet,” she said. “If you can grow outdoors, all the better.”

The Board also unanimously passed a regulation that would create a new license type for hemp farmers that produce less than 1,000 pounds of dried flower, allowing them to sell cannabinoid hemp flower directly to retailers, or they could sell it themselves if they also obtain a retail license.

The regulation defines the term “craft” as applying to a cannabinoid hemp product from a licensed grower who produces less than 1,000 pounds of dried hemp annually, and the hemp is hand trimmed, hang dried and hand packaged. 

The change makes it possible to differentiate local New York craft CBD products from imported products that also use the term “craft.”

“We’re less concerned with our sister states, but we have seen hemp come in from other countries with metals and other contaminants,” said Office of Cannabis Management Chief of Staff Axel Bernabe.

“We want to make sure that it’s actually craft,” added Metzger.

The new rule also removes the requirement that CBD products be shelf-stable, allowing for a wider variety of edible products, while also increasing the serving cap from 75 mg to 100 mg.

“That seems to be more in line with how these products are being consumed,” said Bernabe.

The Board approved 19 new conditional cultivator licenses making a total of 261 and 10 new conditional processor licenses bringing the total to 25. There is still a month left for prospective retailers to apply for a Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary license. 

“With 260 growers I think we are going to have a very nice harvest here in New York State,” said CCB Chair Tremaine Wright.

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Zack cut his journalistic teeth covering high school sports in the south before spending a decade covering local government, politics and the courts in the Boston, Massachusetts area. He's previously written...