Beginning October 5th, 2022, New York State certified patients and designated caregivers who are at least twenty-one (21) years old and registered with the Office of Cannabis Management can grow cannabis at home, following the historic adoption of Part 115 regulations on October 5, 2022.
What is a Certified Patient?
Certified Patients are individuals who received a certification from a health care provider to use medical cannabis to treat a health condition.
What is a Designated Caregiver?
Designated Caregivers are individuals that provide care to patients under twenty-one or to patients who have cognitive or physical impairments that are unable to grow cannabis on their own. Patients who have a Certified Caregiver may only have one Designated Caregiver that grows cannabis on their behalf. Designated Caregivers may only grow for a maximum of four (4) patients at a time. Caregivers must maintain separate and distinct plants for each patient – however, Caregivers are restricted in the total number of plants allowed on their residence regardless of the amount of patients a Caregiver has.
If a Certified Patient utilizes the services of a Designated Caregiver, it is not permissible for both the Patient and Caregiver to grow for the patient.
Both Certified Patients and Designated Caregivers are restricted to growing plants in or on the grounds of their private residence. This may be a place that is either owned or rented. However, patients and caregivers may not grow in assisted living facilities, rehabilitation centers, or similar locations. Additionally, cannabis may not be grown in or on the grounds of any federally funded or federally recognized public housing location, even if for medical purposes, and may put patients and/or caregivers in jeopardy of losing public housing support.
Certified Patients and Caregivers may grow and maintain plants in the following manner:
One Certified Patient in a Residence: Maximum of Three (3) Mature Female Plants and Three (3) Immature Female Plants
Two Certified Patients in a Residence: Maximum of Six (6) Mature Female Plants and Six (6) Immature Female Plants
Three Certified Patients in a Residence: Maximum of Six (6) Mature Female Plants and Six (6) Immature Female Plants
If the number of Certified Patients in a residence exceeds three, the maximum total number of Mature and Immature plants allowed on the premises is six (6) per plant type. Even if a Designated Caregiver is growing for multiple patients, and themselves, they cannot grow more than six (6) Mature plants and six (6) Immature plants per residence.
The New York State Office of Cannabis Management has explicitly stated that if a Certified Patient and/or Caregiver has more than the maximum allowed number of plants in either category, that the plants must be disposed of or alternatively, can be given to another Certified Patient that has not accumulated the maximum number of allowable plants.
Patients and Caregivers must register through the Office of Cannabis Management, which recommends that the faster way to register and purchase medical cannabis products is to enter the NYS DMV ID number from the individual registrant’s driver license, learner permit, or non-driver ID in the DMV ID field while registering. There are separate registration instructions on the Office of Cannabis Management’s website for Certified Patients and Designated Caregivers. It is important to note however, that in order to become a Caregiver, the individual registering must also be listed on the Certified Patient’s registration as a Designed Caregiver and the patient must be first approved as a Certified Patient.
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