New York Approves Adult-Use Cultivation Licenses

New York officials have awarded conditional cannabis cultivation licenses to more than 50 companies and farmers currently licensed to grow industrial hemp.

Full story after the jump.

New York officials have approved conditional licenses for 52 cannabis cultivators. The approvals are for companies and farmers currently licensed to grow hemp; the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) said it had received more than 150 applications since the March 15 opening of the online application portal.

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in February signed a bill to create conditional licenses for the state’s current hemp operators.

“New York’s farms have been the backbone of our state’s economy since before the American Revolution, and now, New York’s farms will be at the center of the most equitable cannabis industry in the nation.” – Hochul in a press release

State Sen. Liz Krueger (D) said that the approval of the licenses “will help ensure an adequate supply of cannabis when the first round of social and economic equity adult-use retail stores open later this year.”

Officials also announced they are working on regulations to allow registered medical cannabis patients to grow their own plants. The rules for patients follow the requirements included in the state’s legalization law, allowing up to three mature plants and three immature plants per person and a cap of six mature and six immature plants within any private residence. Under the law, individuals cannot begin growing at home until sales commence. The proposal would also allow caregivers to grow up to six plants for one patient and one plant per additional patient. Patients would only be allowed to have one caregiver.

Office of Cannabis Management Executive Director Chris Alexander said the agency is “working hard” to finalize the regulations, which have already been the subject of one round of public comment and will be the subject of another 45-day comment period beginning May 4.

“We understand that patients are looking to this new option to access medication at a low cost, and we are doing everything possible to speed up this process while working within the rules of New York’s regulatory system,” Alexander said in a statement.

The OCM said it had received more than 160 comments on the regulations prior to the January 18 closing of the previous public comment period.

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