Personal Cultivation Facilities for Medical Cannabis in NY
Personal Cultivation Facilities for Medical Cannabis in NY
Why this petition matters
Greetings, my name is Elias Martinez, CEO of Kubed Root. We operate an indoor farm, catering to individuals which seek to pursue their passion for agriculture in Buffalo, NY. I am also a designated Caregiver.
My Assembly district is 141 lead by Majority Leader Assemblywoman Crystal People Stokes, she passed the creation of the MRTA (Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act), is an advocate for cannabis legalization and equity/ inclusion in the industry. The purpose of this petition is to bring these concerns to the Majority Leader, so that she may apply these changes (to Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 222.15 of the penal law , N.Y. Cannabis Law Article 3, Section 41 and Chapter II, part 115.1 and 115.2(c)) for the people in her district, the city of Buffalo, Erie county and/or New York State.
My intent with this petition is to:
1) Make the State of New York and the Office of Cannabis Management aware that there is embedded discriminatory language in both Penal Law Article 222.15 and the proposed home grow regulations Chap II, part 115.1/ 115.2(c), which prevents and/or severely limits the ability to cultivate cannabis for Designated Caregivers, that live in:
a. HUD/ Section 8/ Federally subsidized housing
b. hotels/ motels/ extended stays (and dorms)
c. homeless shelters or are housing insecure
d. living quarters less than 866 sqft. (severely limited due to space constraints)
e. spaces with inadequate electrical and/or plumbing infrastructure (severely limited due to costs and safety concerns)
f. a domicile with people under 21y.o. (limited due to inconvenience)
2) Advocate for the Office of Cannabis Management to expressly allow for Designated Caregiver regulations which allow for an expansion on the “home grow” provisions to include an "Off the grounds" definition to support “personal cultivation facilities” as Sen. Jeremy Cooney has outlined in Bill S9217, which he introduced on May 12, 2022.
The regulations as they stand are in direct conflict with ALL three of the frameworks (Social Justice, Public Health & Safety and Economic Development) used to craft cannabis legislation.
The OCM must be more inclusive of people in the living conditions as mentioned above, by changing the language within “Home Cultivation” and it being restricted to "On the grounds" of a “Private Residence”. The outcome of such changes would help in the following ways:
Social Justice: Members from communities disproportionally impacted by the policies of prohibition have generally resided in Federal Housing or struggled with living situations due to disruptions in their household income. This will allow them to be included and provide the missing rungs in the ladder of economic progress.
Public Health & Safety: Create a space where regulatory standards are encouraged, taught and adhered to, making products safe for consumers, communities and the cultivators themselves. Cultivation facilities would create a safer alternative and centralize the information making it easily accessible.
Economic Development: Encouraging small businesses and farmers to participate in the cannabis industry with the formation of personalized grow rooms to facilitate and encourage caregivers, microbusinesses and cooperatives.
The average square foot size of apartments is decreasing in urban areas, making the urgency of creating “personal cultivation facilities” evident with every passing year. Space is needed to cultivate cannabis, and space is quickly becoming a luxury that the historically disenfranchised designated caregivers can no longer afford.
Section 115.1 Definitions.
(6) “On the grounds” means the external areas of the private residence where the individual resides and has legal rights to use such external areas for their own purposes, including but not limited to, a backyard or any land adjacent to the private residence.
(7) “Personal Home cultivation” means growing, cloning, harvesting, drying, curing,
grading, and trimming of cannabis plants for medical use that is subject to Cannabis Law Article 3 and Penal Law Article 222.
(8) “Private residence” means any building or part of a building, or structure designed and occupied for residential purposes, including but not limited to a private home; townhouse; condominium; co-op; apartment; or mobile home. For purposes of this Part, a hospital, hotel, motel, resort, or other similar public accommodation, shall not be considered a private residence, except as may be expressly allowed by the Board.
Section 115.2 Personal Home Cultivation of Medical Cannabis.
(c) The personal home cultivation of medical cannabis may only occur in, or on the grounds of, a person’s private residence.
(i) Immature cannabis plants and mature cannabis plants must be stored in a secure location within a private residence or on the grounds of such certified patient or designated caregiver’s private residence; and reasonable measures must be taken to ensure that such plants, and any cannabis cultivated from such plants, is not readily accessible to anyone under the age of 21. Such reasonable measures may include but are not limited to:
(1) conducting cannabis cultivation in an enclosed area, which may not be plainly visible from public view, including from the street of the private residence or on the grounds of the certified patient or designated caregiver’s private residence; and
(2) locking and storing cannabis in a manner that prevents theft, loss, or access, which may include, but are not limited to locks, gates, doors, fences, and other barriers by an unauthorized person, including a person under the age of 21.
(4) only cultivate cannabis at, or on the grounds of, the designated caregiver’s private residence or the certified patient’s private residence.
(m) No landlord may refuse to lease, or otherwise penalize a certified patient or designated caregiver solely for engaging in medical cannabis activity as authorized by this Part and in accordance with Cannabis Law, except:
(1) if failing to do so would cause the landlord to lose a monetary or licensing related benefit under federal law or regulations; or
Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 222.15 of the penal law, as added by chapter 92 of the laws of 2021, is amended to read as follows:
3. The personal cultivation of cannabis shall only be permitted within, or on the grounds of, a person's private residence OR A LICENSEDPERSONAL CULTIVATION FACILITY, PURSUANT TO ANY REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE CANNABIS CONTROL BOARD IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION THIRTEEN OF THE CANNABIS LAW.
Section 41 - Home cultivation of medical cannabis
Certified patients twenty-one years of age or older may cultivate cannabis for personal use. Designated caregivers twenty-one years of age or older, caring for certified patients either younger than twenty-one years of age or whose physical or cognitive impairments prevent them from cultivating cannabis, may cultivate cannabis for use by such patients, provided that no other caregiver is growing for said patient or patients. All cultivation under this section shall be in accordance with section 222.15 of the penal law and any regulations made by the board, provided that the maximum number of cannabis plants a designated caregiver is authorized to grow is proportionately increased for each patient they are growing for.