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New York Regulators Approve Cannabis Homegrow

The New York State Cannabis Control Board has made the long-awaited decision to allow adults over the age of 21 to grow cannabis plants in their own homes. These regulations become official after a 60-day public comment period, during which any objections to this resolution will be made known and addressed if deemed necessary.

New York is one of the few states that has legalized marijuana for adult use but does not yet allow individuals to legally cultivate marijuana in their homes. Currently, personal cannabis growing is only allowed for people who have registered with the state’s Medicinal Cannabis Program. This new legislation will result in long-awaited changes to the current Home Cultivation of Cannabis Law, allowing individuals to grow small amounts of cannabis at home for personal use. This legislation was voted into favor over a year after the opening of New York State’s first legal adult recreational dispensary on December 29, 2022.

Regulations allowing adults in New York who are at least 21 years old to grow a small number of cannabis plants at home have been authorized by state officials. The rules further specify that each adult can grow up to six plants and no more than 12 plants can be grown in a single home on private landGrowers will be allowed to start from seeds or purchase young plants from suppliers that hold a license and can subsequently legally harvest up to five pounds of cannabis flower from up to six plants, with no more than three of these plants being mature at one time, six if in a shared home with other adults, with a 12 plant per household maximum. 

This cannabis must be grown in a secure location that is not visible to the public, including those on the street outside of the residence where the plants are being grown. The regulation further elaborates that growers must eliminate any odor nuisance to their neighbors and that the six plant per adult rule applies to each individual no matter how many residences they own.

Research from other states with legalized home grow dispels the concern that legalizing home growing of cannabis will create a nuisance in densely populated regions. Prior to the vote, John Kagia of the Cannabis Control Board stated in support to this claim, “Research shows that only a small percentage of cannabis consumers become homebrewers, making it a fairly specialized hobby, something akin to people who want to brew their own beer… while growing cannabis might be easy, growing good high-quality cannabis is actually not that easy… Home growers supplement or complement the cannabis they are growing with products from the legal, regulated market.” 

Under this new legislation, cultivators may lawfully choose to turn their flowers into concentrates, generally considered to be a more potent and safer method of consumption.

The Meeting of The Cannabis Control Board Took Place in Troy, New York, a city northeast of Albany.

While many are simply relieved by this progress for New York home cannabis growing, there are many who are vocal that there should not be such rigid limitations for the cultivation of personal use cannabis and still others who feel that if this legislation had been in place since the beginning of New York’s adult-use legalization in 2021, the state would have had far less black market, unlicensed dispensaries to contend with.

Regulators also accepted the applications of 109 more cannabis-related licenses, including growers and commercial merchants, during the Friday meeting. This is after being under scrutiny for not granting licenses to enough outlets to satisfy customer demand.

While these regulations were approved by the Cannabis Control Board members last week, there still will be a sixty-day public feedback process before the rules come into effect.

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