Marijuana legal in New York but growing plants in home still months away, experts say

Northeast

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The use and sale of recreational marijuana in New York have been legalized, but questions remain about what regulations come with the new law.

While the new marijuana law does allow for home cultivation of the plant, it’s not legal just yet. The state is still creating growing regulations and experts say it could take years before seeds can be planted.

Interested growers have been going to places like Sunset Hydroponics & Home Brewing to find out more about planting marijuana. 

“Definitely expect to see quite an influx. I’ve actually had a lot of people coming in just asking questions and just browsing around,” said Noel Batterson, Sunset Hydroponics & Home Brewing store manager.

One reason they might not be buying growing supplies right now is that residents can’t plant marijuana just yet. 

That’s because the state is still hammering out specific regulations for home-growing, something lawmakers and activists like Steve VanDeWalle, founder and CEO of Tiva Naturals, say could take months.

“The earliest I think that could be, and this is being very optimistic, is January of 2022; cause right now that the bill been passed, it goes into the rulemaking process where you work out all the technical jargon of the bill,” VanDeWalle said.

Six months after those rules take effect, medical users can begin growing, but recreational users will have to wait 18 months to plant. 

“The bill is very ambiguous and that could very well be clarified in the rule-making process, but in this moment in time, I do not advise anybody to start cultivating cannabis at home until we have a little more clarification around the bill,” VanDeWalle said.

Once the laws are set, people can grow up to six plants per person or up to 12 per household.

It takes the same gear that the Hydroponics business already sells, and Batterson expects more interested growers to come in this summer with questions. 

“You can use a lot of the same nutrients honestly for like when your growing vegetables and fruits even flowers a lot of the same process,” Batterson said. “I do expect it to be busy; we are hiring a few extra people on just to make sure we have enough coverage.”

State lawmakers have said it could take up to a year or longer to set up the systems and regulations that would allow for home marijuana cultivation.

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