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New York now violating its own cannabis law

Oct 01, 2021 4:44 am

Rebekah F. Ward reports in the Times Union that the state of New York is violating its own law on home cultivation of medical cannabis. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act that passed this spring allows limited home cultivation of medical cannabis as soon as the Office of Cannabis Management issues regulations governing it. The law says that was supposed to happen, “no later than six months after the effective date” of the law. But we are now later that six months after the effective date of the law, and no one in the state can legally grow their own medical cannabis. The previous governor, Andrew Cuomo was long opposed to any cannabis legalization, and his administration did not make any of the needed appointments required by the law. New Gov. Kathy Hochul has been making many appointments to the various boards set to create the cannabis regulations, both for medical and recreational sales. Albany Dr. Mark Oldendorf said he is frustrated that he has patients who should be getting medical cannabis now are not. “I’ve had quite a few people who I’ve turned away because they wanted it specifically for insomnia, that’s the big need, and it’s not a qualifying condition” at the moment, he said. “So all of those people are headed off to Massachusetts to buy something.” Medical and recreational cannabis are legal there, but crossing the state line back into New York with cannabis is still a federal crime. State Department of Health spokesperson Jill Montag says now that the appointments have been made, more regulatory changes will be announced. “As the Office of Cannabis Management and the Cannabis Control Board have now been fully constituted, they will be overseeing these changes as they occur,” she said. Read more about this story in the Times Union.