Medical cannabis cultivation at home yes, but for whom?
The issue of self-cultivation was part of the bill recently approved by the legislature but had to be postponed to further discussions. Nevertheless, the bill provided for a ban on home cultivation until 2022. This date was to coincide with the launch of retail sales in New York State. Once the proposed rules have gone through a 60-day public comment period - a period that can still be adjusted by the BAC before the new measures come into effect - registered patients will then be able to grow up to three immature (still growing) and three mature (already flowering) plants per individual. Regardless of the number of inhabitants in the same dwelling, the limit is set at six immature and six mature plants per household.
The judicial impact of the new rules
Chris Alexander, executive director of the CCB, made it clear that only certified patients, or their designated caregivers officially participating in the medical cannabis programme, will be able to legally purchase seeds or immature plants. These purchases will be made from a registered organisation. This means that New Yorkers who are not participating in the programme will not yet be able to grow plants in their homes. BAC members did, however, vote to expunge more than 200,000 criminal records for cannabis-related offences that are no longer relevant under the recent adult-use law. In the end, the records of more than 400,000 New Yorkers will have been expunged as a result of the actions arising from this decision. These figures highlight the impact of cannabis prohibition on thousands of people. Prior to the major cannabis legalization reforms, the state had already destroyed nearly 198,000 criminal records in 2019.