The cultivation of cannabis for medical and adult use in Broome County is legal by virtue of the State of New York’s Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) of March 2021. This permitted adults aged 21 and above to use cannabis, revising the earlier law which allowed, since 2016, only the use of medical cannabis by medical marijuana cardholders.
The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has allowed patients and caregivers who are holders of the New York medical marijuana card and aged 21 and above to cultivate and process medical cannabis for personal use at home starting October 5, 2022. Counties and municipalities are prohibited from disallowing the home cultivation of medical cannabis by qualified New York medical marijuana cardholders.
Patients are allowed to grow at home a maximum of three immature and three mature female medical cannabis plants. Apart from the live plants, they may also have and process at home up to five pounds of medical cannabis. If three or more qualified patients live in the same home, their total allowed crops are limited to six immature and six mature female medical cannabis plants.
For a patient who cannot grow medical cannabis at home, one of their registered caregivers may cultivate it instead in the caregiver’s home. A caregiver may do so for up to four patients they are responsible for but can grow only a total of six immature and six mature female medical cannabis plants.
To prevent home growers from going beyond their allowed possession limits, they are allowed to give away only to other medical cannabis cardholders up to three ounces of medical cannabis or 24 grams of medical cannabis concentrate. This must not entail payment or anything else in exchange because they are not allowed to sell or trade homegrown medical cannabis.
Medical cannabis cardholders are required to abide by the Personal Home Cultivation of Medical Cannabis Regulations and the Medical Cannabis Home Cultivation Guide of the OCM. The home must not be on federal property. Home cultivation may be done indoors or outdoors provided the space is not shared with other residences and that it is shielded from public view and fenced and locked against unauthorized access.
The home growing and processing of recreational cannabis by any adult aged 21 and older in the State of New York is allowed by the MRTA only starting June 29, 2024, 18 months after the retail sale of adult-use cannabis began (December 29, 2022). The OCM is expected to have drawn up the regulation on the home cultivation of adult-use cannabis by then. Once implemented, counties and municipalities are also prohibited from disallowing this. They may draw up their own regulations on how adult-use cannabis home cultivation must be implemented, though.
For the commercial cultivation of recreational cannabis, a company must apply to the OCM for an adult-use cultivator license. The cannabis cultivation license holder is not allowed to concurrently hold a cannabis dispensary license.
However, New York State Senate Bill S.8084-A/A.9283-A created the adult-use conditional cultivator license (AUCC) starting February 2022, allowing hemp cultivation licensees to also manufacture adult-use cannabis products until June 30, 2024, and distribute adult-use cannabis and adult-use cannabis products until June 1, 2023. Applicants are required to be currently licensed hemp cultivators with the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program of the Department of Agriculture and Markets. AUCC applicants must each pay $2,000 as an application and license fee, and the license holds for two years. The application period is from March 15 to June 30, 2022.
Article 3 Section 39 of New York’s Cannabis Law states that existing registered organizations with medical cannabis licenses may also apply for adult-use licenses with the OCM. The registered organization adult-use cultivator processor distributor retail dispensary license allows the medical cannabis business licensee to retain its medical cannabis license and, in addition, cultivate, manufacture, and dispense adult-use cannabis. The licensee can only sell adult-use cannabis in a maximum of three of its existing medical cannabis dispensaries. Also, it can only sell the cannabis it grows and manufactures.
The OCM’s Guidance for Adult-Use Conditional Cultivators states that the licensee may cultivate cannabis under only one of the following conditions:
Outdoors only, with a flowering canopy of up to an acre or 43,560 square feet
Indoors only, in a greenhouse, with a flowering canopy of up to 25,000 square feet
Mixed outdoor and greenhouse cultivation, provided the total flowering canopy is not more than 30,000 square feet and a maximum of 20,000 square feet is in the greenhouse.
All cannabis retail packaging must be completely sealed against contamination and light, tamper-proof, childproof, and must not taint the product.
All cannabis retail packaging must be unattractive to children and must not resemble the packaging of products intended for children. Hence, the use of scents, sounds, holographs, cartoons, bright colors, and puffy fonts is prohibited.
All cannabis retail packages that contain several servings must use resealable packaging.
All cannabis retail packaging must be labeled with a clear 6-point font indicating the following:
The name, license number, address, and other contact information of the cannabis product manufacturer
The cannabis product lot number
A bard code or QR code linking to the certificate of analysis of the cannabis product
The cannabis product weight
The number of servings in the cannabis product pack and serving size
The cannabinoid and terpene profile of the cannabis product
For non-edible cannabis products, the percentage per volume content of each phytocannabinoid, especially tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), in every serving and the total package
For edible cannabis products, the milligrams of each phytocannabinoid, especially tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), in every serving and the total package
For edible cannabis products, the nutritional content
The ingredient list of the cannabis product, highlighting the presence, if any, of major allergens identified by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004
The cannabis product expiry date
Instructions for the cannabis product’s usage and storage
All images and warnings required for cannabis products by the New York State
Both medical and adult-use cannabis product manufacturing in Broome County is legal as mandated by the MRTA of the State of New York.
Medical marijuana cardholders processing their homegrown cannabis are prohibited from using the following:
Any gas or liquid that has a flashpoint below 100 degrees Fahrenheit
Combustible fuel, such as butane or propane
Once adults aged 21 and older are allowed to grow and process cannabis at home, they will be subject to the same processing restrictions.
For the commercial manufacturing of adult-use cannabis, a company is mandated to obtain from the OCM an adult-use conditional processor license. The cannabis processing license holder is not permitted to also carry a cannabis dispensary license.
Cannabinoid hemp processor licensees who applied for their license prior to January 1, 2022, under the Cannabinoid Hemp Program, are qualified to also apply for the adult-use conditional processor license which allows them to manufacture adult-use cannabis products and distribute these until June 1, 2023. The combined application and license fee is $2,000.
Furthermore, holders of the registered organization adult-use cultivator processor distributor retail dispensary license from the OCM may also manufacture adult-use cannabis products.
According to the OCM’s Guidance for Cannabis Processors, licensed cannabis manufacturers are allowed to produce for retail sale the following:
Flowers and shakes
Oils, including those in vaporization pens and cartridges
Edible items and beverages infused with cannabis
Other cannabis items to be included by the OCM
Unless approved by the Cannabis Control Board, all cannabis products must have a total terpene content of not more than 10%. Cannabis products for oral ingestion must not have more than 10 milligrams of THC per serving and not more than 100 milligrams of THC for packages with several servings. Cannabis tinctures and topical preparations must not exceed 1,000 milligrams of THC content.
The packaging and labeling requirements of the Cannabis Control Board as listed previously must also be adhered to by licensed medical and adult-use cannabis product manufacturers.
The retail sale of both medical and adult-use cannabis and cannabis products in Broome County is legal as stipulated by New York State’s MRTA. These can only be sold, however, to medical marijuana cardholders and individuals aged 21 and above. Also, the MRTA gave municipalities of counties a deadline of December 31, 2021, to decide on two things:
whether to allow cannabis dispensaries; and
whether to allow cannabis consumption sites where cannabis is both sold by retail and consumed.
In Broome County, the following municipalities allow both licensed cannabis dispensaries and consumption sites:
Johnson City Village
Port Dickinson Village
Whitney Point Village
The following municipalities allow only dispensaries without consumption:
The following five towns disallow both licensed cannabis dispensaries and consumption sites:
Municipalities that have decided to opt out of either type of retail can still opt-in at any time by creating an ordinance.
For the retail selling of adult-use cannabis, a company is required to apply to the OCM for a conditional adult-use retail dispensary license (CAURD) or on-site consumption license, although the latter is not yet open for applications. Between 270 to 30 days before filing the application, the company is required to submit a notification to the municipality where it will be located. The applying company’s owners, directors, and officers will undergo a fingerprinting for a background check.
Applications for CAURD licenses closed on September 26, 2021, and as of March 2023, five cannabis retail dispensaries were operational, with one located in Binghamton City of Broome County.
Registered organization adult-use cultivator processor distributor retail dispensary license holders may also sell medical and adult-use cannabis by retail.
According to the OCM Guidance for Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries, any licensed retail dispensary must be a physical non-mobile store that is subject to the following location restrictions:
The cannabis retail dispensary cannot be on the same street as any school, community facility, or public place of worship. A school, community facility, or public place of worship on a corner lot is deemed to be on both streets, regardless of where its entrance is.
The cannabis retail dispensary must be more than 500 feet away from any school or community facility and more than 200 feet away from any public place of worship.
The cannabis retail dispensary must be outside the following radius of another medical or adult-use cannabis dispensary:
1,000 feet for municipalities with a population of 20,000 and above
2,000 feet for municipalities with a population below 20,000
Licensed dispensaries are allowed to sell from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. A municipality may pass an ordinance to extend this if desired. The licensed dispensary may have a drive-through window or a curbside pickup lane only with approval from the OCM.
Registered organizations’ medical cannabis dispensaries have been allowed since 2016 to sell to medical cannabis cardholders only a 60-day supply of medical cannabis in a 60-day period, depending on the patient’s certification. Registered patients must be asked to present their medical cannabis card and physician’s certification. Registered caregivers must be asked to present their medical cannabis card and their patient’s physician’s certification.
For adult-use cannabis, licensed dispensaries can only sell to an individual aged 21 and older the legal possession limit of three ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of cannabis concentrate, oil, or edibles. The purchaser must be asked to present a valid government-issued photo ID card with proof of age.
All types of licensed cannabis dispensaries are allowed to sell cannabis and cannabis products that licensed cannabis manufacturers are allowed by the OCM to produce for retail sale. They are also authorized to sell the following:
Paraphernalia for the use of cannabis
Items sporting the dispensary brand, like apparel, adult-sized jewelry, and other merchandise
Gifts, stationary, and other incidental items
All details of every purchase must be logged into the licensed dispensary’s inventory tracking system and every purchaser must be given a receipt.
Delivering both medical and adult-use cannabis in Broome County is legal in accordance with the MRTA of New York State. Only licensed dispensaries are authorized to deliver cannabis and cannabis products to medical cannabis cardholders and adults aged 21 and older provided their delivery employees have the proper training for it. According to the OCM’s CAURD Delivery Guidance, licensed dispensaries are also allowed to offer a delivery-only service for one year from the time their license is issued.
Only a maximum of 25 employees can do delivery every week for each licensed dispensary. Orders may be received through the licensed dispensary’s own app, online retail delivery platform, or through phone and must be paid for upon order placement. Third-party ordering platforms are prohibited.
The ordering platform must not be accessible to minors. Purchasers must be required to present a valid government-issued photo ID as proof of age upon ordering, and the same ID must be verified in person by the delivery personnel before releasing the purchased cannabis during delivery. For registered patients and caregivers, the medical cannabis card and physician’s certification must also be required for presentation upon ordering and before the release of the medical cannabis upon delivery.
Deliveries are only allowed to a physical non-mobile residence or private business address within the State of New York. They can only be made during the business hours of the licensed dispensary. Delivery vehicles must be owned by the licensed retailer. Enclosed vehicles are allowed to carry only a maximum of $20,000 worth of cannabis and cannabis products. Deliveries made on foot or through non-enclosed vehicles are limited to $5,000 worth of cannabis and cannabis products.
All details of every delivered purchase must be logged into the licensed dispensary’s inventory tracking system and every purchase recipient must be given a receipt.
Broome County patients can start the process of applying for a medical marijuana card after receiving a diagnosis of any of the following ailments from a qualified practitioner under the Medical Cannabis Program:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Substance use disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Spinal cord nerve tissue damage with intractable spasticity
Inflammatory bowel disease
Pain causing overall health degradation
Other medical conditions that the practitioner certifies
The practitioner will create a physician’s certification online for the patient through the Medical Cannabis Data Management System (MCDMS) which is in the Health Commerce System (HCS). The physician will print this and give the patient a copy.
The patient must then follow the patient registration instructions and provide the required documents to complete the online registration. If the patient is below 18 years old, or an adult who needs assistance, up to five caregivers may be designated in the patient’s application. They are authorized to purchase, grow, and process medical cannabis for the patient. Once the patient’s registration is approved, the designated caregiver must follow the caregiver registration instructions online with the same required documentation.
Once the registration is approved for the patient or the caregiver, a printable temporary medical marijuana card will be available online. The actual card will be received by the patient and the caregiver by mail.
Further information may be requested from the OCM Medical Cannabis Program through the following:
Phone: 888-OCM-5151 (888-626-5151)
In the AO1248 Memo supporting the MRTA while it was still a bill, the projection was that the State of New York could earn tax revenues amounting to $436 million. According to the New York State Association of Counties MRTA Summary, the state expected to earn $20 million from licensing fees alone within a year from adult-use cannabis legalization. Once the MRTA is fully implemented, the projected yearly state income is $360 and the projected yearly local government income is $75 million. Since Broome County has one of the first five licensed cannabis retail dispensaries, it will benefit from this income.
Licensed cultivators and manufacturers pay the following:
$0.03 per milligram of total THC in edible cannabis products
$0.008 per milligram of total THC in cannabis concentrates
$0.0005 per milligram of total THC in shakes, loose flowers, and pre-rolls
Licensed retail dispensaries pay the following:
9% of the selling price for cannabis or cannabis products as state excise tax
4% of the selling price for cannabis or cannabis products as local excise tax, of which 25% is paid to the county and 75% to the municipality
The state tax revenues from adult-use cannabis are sent to the New York State Cannabis Revenue Fund for the MRTA’s administrative needs. The excess is used in the following manner:
The State Lottery Fund, for use in education: 40%
The Community Grants Reinvestment Fund: 40%
The Drug Treatment and Public Education Fund: 20%
Medical cannabis was legalized in 2016 and adult-use cannabis was legalized in 2021 in Broome County.
Data from the Broome County Sheriff's Office on the FBI’s Crime Explorer page shows that a year before medical cannabis legalization, in 2015, there were 37 marijuana offense arrests, all for possession.
A year after medical cannabis legislation, in 2017, there were 83 marijuana offense arrests, with 79 for possession and four for manufacturing or sales.
In 2018, there were 72 marijuana offense arrests, with 71 for possession and one for manufacturing or sales.
In the latest available data in 2021, there were five marijuana offense arrests, all for possession.
The following were the DUI arrests in those years:
2015: 50 arrests
2017: 39 arrests
2018: 27 arrests
2021: 25 arrests