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New York Cannabis Control Board Approves Patient Access To Medical Flower

New York Cannabis Control Board Approves Patient Access To Medical Flower

During New York’s Cannabis Control Board’s first meeting, the board announced that medical cannabis dispensaries in the state could begin providing access to medical cannabis flower to registered patients immediately. It’s the first major announcement toward implementing the state’s new adult-use marijuana legalization law.

Immediate changes to the state’s medical cannabis program include:

  • Permanently waiving the $50 registration fee for patients and caregivers.
  • Any medical practitioner with a license to prescribe controlled substances can certify medical cannabis patients.
  • Increasing the patient supply limit from a 30 day supply to a 60 day supply.
  • Whole cannabis flower may be produced and sold by medical cannabis companies to registered patients.

The Cannabis Control Board’s goal is to allow for easier access to New York State’s medical cannabis program and to provide more opportunities for participation by potential patients. The Board is also in charge of determining the number of licenses available and issuing cannabis licenses in New York State.

During the inaugural meeting, the Cannabis Control Board approved the transfer of personnel to the Office of Cannabis Management from the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH). The NYS DOH oversees the medical cannabis and cannabinoid hemp programs. The Cannabis Control Board also approved recommendations made by the executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management for said office’s senior staff.

Jason Starr was appointed chief equity officer. In that role, Starr will ensure the Office of Cannabis Management and Cannabis Control Board’s compliance with the social and economic equity plan developed under the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.

The Cannabis Control Board will oversee the Office of Cannabis Management – an independent office within the New York State Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The Office of Cannabis Management will administer the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act. It’s almost like a Russian Nesting Dolls-type set-up over there in the Empire State.

Failing to meet its legally mandated six-month deadline, the Cannabis Control Board did not announce regulations for home cultivation by registered medical cannabis patients.

Cannabis Control Board chair and former New York Assemblymember, Tremaine Wright said they are “committed to drafting these regulations and issuing them for public comments, and expect it to be an agenda item on one of the upcoming board meetings.”

With the Cannabis Control Board and Office of Cannabis Management senior staff now in place, the expectation is that adult-use regulations will be expedited, putting New York State on par with its neighbors in Connecticut and New Jersey.

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