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New York Medical Marijuana Rules Expanded 1-22

  • Medical marijuana doctors in New York State now have the power to approve a patient for a medical marijuana card for any medical condition they deem fit.
  • Soon New York medical marijuana patients will also be allowed to grow their own medical marijuana at home. 
  • While possession of marijuana is already legal in the state for all adults 21 and older, recreational marijuana dispensaries are not expected to open until the end of the year at the earliest. 

Office of Cannabis Management

The state New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) announced on Monday that medical marijuana doctors now have the power to issue a medical marijuana card to any patient suffering from any medical condition they deem treatable with marijuana or other cannabis-infused remedies. 

Also, the New York Cannabis Control Board voted to allow holders of medical marijuana cards to grow plants for personal use. 

And in a separate announcement, the New York State Department of Labor declared that employers in the state are no longer allowed to drug test most workers for marijuana.

OCM Executive Director Chris Alexander had this to say:

“Launching the new patient certification and registration system and expanding eligibility for the Medical Cannabis Program are significant steps forward for our program. We will continue to implement the MRTA and ensure that all New Yorkers who can benefit from medical cannabis have the access they need to do so. It’s important for New Yorkers to know that even as we shift the medical program to the OCM, your access will not be disrupted and the program will continue to expand.” 

And in an official Cannabis Control Board (CCB) press release, Chair Tremaine Wright said:

“It is terrific to see the Medical Cannabis Program expand so vastly with the launch of the new certification and registration program and the ability of practitioners to determine qualifying conditions as included in the MRTA. The new cannabis industry is taking shape as we continue to implement the MRTA and provide greater access for New Yorkers to a medicine that we’re learning more about every day. We’re continuing to move forward swiftly and today’s system launch follows our achievements that already include adding whole flower medical product sales, permanently waiving $50 patient fees, and advancing home cultivation regulations, among others.”

The new rule was actually enacted as part of the recreational marijuana law that was signed by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year. 

Although New York recreational marijuana dispensaries aren’t yet open, adults 21 and older are now permitted to possess less than 3 ounces of flower. 

More changes proposed

Several additional pieces of cannabis policy reform legislation are floating around the capital. For example, New York State Senator Jeremy Cooney filed two bills that would include gay, lesbian, and bisexual people, as well as transgender people in social equity provisions in the state’s marijuana code. Sen. Cooney has also tabled additional proposals related to tax benefits and licensing of cannabis businesses.

Back in June, another New York lawmaker introduced a bill that would require the state to research the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. And just last month, another legislator filed a bill to legalize the use of psilocybin mushrooms for medical purposes. That bill also includes provisions for the cultivation and distribution of psilocybin mushrooms.

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