New York Cannabis Agency Announces Cultivation Rules, License Updates

The New York Cannabis Control Board (CCB) has officially approved rules that allow adults over 21 to cultivate cannabis at home, as of June 11. Now adults can care for a maximum of six plants, with three immature plants and three mature. Residences with more than one adult can have up to 12 plants (six immature and six mature).

Additionally, new rules take place for possession in regard to a person’s crops. “You can have up to five (5) pounds of trimmed cannabis and the equivalent weight in concentrates in or on the grounds of their private residence,” the Office of Cannabis Management wrote in its law breakdown. “Individuals can carry and transport up to three (3) ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of concentrates within the state.”

Cannabis can be grown anywhere that a person owns or rents such as a “room, home, apartment, mobile home, co-op, or other residential spaces.” Landlords cannot refuse to rent a space to a person, or penalize a tenant, unless they are at risk of losing federal funding or benefits.

The rules also cover how residents can legally obtain cannabis plants. Seeds will now be available at commercial retailers, but immature plants can also be purchased by numerous licensed cannabis businesses as well.

The OCM warned of the responsibilities of the grower, specifically when it comes to processing their flower into other cannabis products. “If you’re making at home products with cannabis, like tinctures or butters, the use of flammable materials is prohibited because they are not safe for home use,” the OCM stated. “Consider alternative extraction methods such as heat, water or fermentation.”

The OCM also mentioned the need to reduce cannabis odors. “You must take reasonable measures to prevent cannabis odor from becoming a nuisance to neighboring residents such as co-planting items like lavender in an outdoor garden or using a carbon filter for indoor cultivation,” the information document continued. Lastly, the agency warned growers to cultivate away from the public eye, either by installing fences or tall, busy plants to add privacy to outdoor property.

In the realm of safety, the OCM suggested that growers choose LED lights to reduce power usage and risk of electric overload and recommended that growers seek expertise from an electrician about the setup. It also stressed the importance of proper ventilation to ensure that cannabis does not become moldy.

These rules were originally approved in February 2024, which was followed by a 60-day public comment period. The CCB voted on final regulations for cultivation on June 11.

Also on June 11, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the CCB has approved another 105 adult-use cannabis licenses. “New York is building a robust and equitable legal market that is driving significant economic growth within our communities,” said Hochul. “The issuance of 105 additional adult-use licenses is just the next step in developing the nation-leading industry New Yorkers expect and deserve.” This includes 25 cultivator licenses, 22 distributor licenses, 22 microbusiness licenses, 19 processor licenses, and 17 dispensary licenses. Additionally, 45 out of these 105 licenses are transitioning adult-use conditional cultivators (AUCC) or adult-use conditional processors (AUCP).

During the meeting, the CCB also denied licenses to 100 applicants that weren’t eligible or had already received a license from a different application.

CCB chair Tremaine Wright said in a statement that progress continues to push New York’s cannabis industry forward. “We continue to prioritize our market’s expansion, and commitment to our nation-leading cannabis market, by providing New Yorkers with a wide range of choice and opportunity to participate,” Wright said. “Today’s license approvals, and the introduction of home cultivation brings us one step closer to setting a new standard that centers growth, equity, and safety.”

So far in 2024, the CCB has approved a total of 654 cannabis licenses, while there are currently 132 adult-use cannabis dispensaries operating in the state.

Meanwhile, cannabis sales continue to increase in the state as well. The governor and OCM confirmed that in May, cannabis sales reached $4.4 million (for a total of $46.2 million). They project that by early June the state will have collected more than $200 million in sales.

The governor’s office attributes the success of its Social and Economic Equity (SEE) program as one of the reasons why the industry is thriving. The press release stated that 57 of the 105 new applicants (about 54%), are SEE applicants, which breaks down into “five Community Development Initiative participants, seven distressed farmers, 22 minority-owned businesses, seven service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, and 16 women-owned businesses.”

In May, the governor’s office stated that OCM executive director Chris Alexander would be stepping down this September following Hochul’s reevaluation of the agency and its leadership. The office described Hochul’s action as “an operational overhaul” which “follows the release of a 30-day assessment conducted by a team of individuals under the leadership of the Commissioner of the Office of General Services Jeanette Moy, that identified significant structural limitations to the Office of Cannabis Management that have affected the agency’s ability to fulfill its mandate to efficiently establish New York State’s cannabis marketplace.”

The post New York Cannabis Agency Announces Cultivation Rules, License Updates first appeared on High Times.


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