Dutchess County Cannabis – Is It Legal & Where To Buy 2024

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Dutchess County?

Yes, it is legal to cultivate marijuana in Dutchess County. The State of New York legalized cannabis for medical use in 2014 and adult use in 2021. The Cannabis Control Board oversees cannabis businesses and controls licensing and approval of cannabis cultivators in the State of New York. The Board also creates rules that let licensed adult-use cultivators process various types of cannabis in small amounts without needing a processing license for adult-use cannabis. In addition, according to Section 68 of the Marihuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA), cannabis must be grown using agricultural production techniques such as planting, harvesting, growing, sorting, cloning, curing, and trimming. The provisions of Section 68 also permit adult cultivators to seek processor and distributor licenses in order to sell their produce.

According to the Office of Cannabis Management's (OCM) Medical Cannabis Home Cultivation Guide and Personal Home Cultivation of Medical Cannabis Regulations, approved patients who are members of the Medical Cannabis Program Registry, have medical marijuana ID cards, and are 21 and older are permitted to possess, plant, grow, harvest, dry, and process up to three mature female cannabis plants and three immature female cannabis plants in their home beginning October 5, 2022. Additionally, they are only allowed to keep and process up to five pounds of usable, non-growing cannabis. If a private residence has numerous certified patients, they are limited to possessing a maximum of six immature and six mature female cannabis plants.

In the event that a patient is unable to grow medical cannabis at home, the patient's registered caregiver may do so in the caregiver's own house. A caregiver is only permitted to grow a total of six female cannabis plants—six immature and six mature—at one time for a maximum of four patients. Each patient can only have one caregiver grow their medical marijuana. Patients are not allowed to sell or distribute their own medical marijuana products or plants. However, they are allowed to give away up to three ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of cannabis concentrate to another licensed patient or caregiver if they have an excess to avoid exceeding the authorized limits, provided they do not get anything in return.

Local governments, such as counties, are not entitled to prohibit certified patients from possessing, planting, growing, drying, harvesting, and processing the allowable number of medical cannabis plants from their private residences. Patients may do so indoors, or in private, non-shared outdoor spaces on their home property, provided that any cannabis-related activity is hidden from view by fences, gates, or other similar obstacles. The cannabis plants must be kept and guarded against unauthorized entry by animals and individuals under the age of 21.

On the other hand, in cultivating cannabis for commercial purposes, businesses must first obtain an adult-use cultivator license from the OCM. They are allowed to possess, purchase, plant, harvest, dry, cure, grow, clone, grade, and sell cannabis to licensed cannabis processors under the terms of the license.

The conditional adult-use cultivator license was established by S.8084-A/A.9283-A, which was signed into law in February 2022. This extends the cultivator's authorization to include cannabis and cannabis product processing until June 30, 2024, as well as cannabis and cannabis product distribution until June 1, 2023. The conditional license's goal is to hasten the development of the adult-use cannabis market.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Dutchess County?

In Dutchess County, cannabis manufacturing is legal. Licensed processors and manufacturers are not permitted to cultivate cannabis, but they may purchase cannabis from licensed adult-use cultivators. Additionally, they are permitted to sell cannabis, cannabis-related goods, and cannabis extracts with other licensed processors and manufacturers. Cannabis products may not be manufactured, packaged, or labeled in a way that would appeal to anyone under the age of 21.

Cannabis may not be produced in the form of public personalities, images, symbols, toys, characters, games, or slogans familiar to minors. Furthermore, edible cannabis cannot be manufactured, packed, or produced to resemble certain foods, beverages, cereals, candies, or cookies that are popular with or enticing to people under the age of 21.

Cannabis is processed or manufactured by infusing, extracting, combining, labeling, branding, packaging, and preparing cannabis products, according to Section 70 of the MRTA. A holder of a cannabis processor's license may apply for and use a distributor's permit to sell their own products.

In order to qualify for an adult-use conditional processor license, applicants must meet these requirements:

  • Primary contact information

  • An overview of the processor's business plan

  • A primary address and a map of the area in which the business will be located

  • Proof of a valid certificate of occupancy

  • An anticipated supply of cannabis

  • Proof of workers' compensation, if applicable

  • An extraction method, if applicable

  • Disclosure of all nearby businesses that are not part of the processing facility (if applicable)

  • Information regarding ownership and management

  • Agreement and attestation from the applicant to the terms of the license

  • An audit of all the processing sites' Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) documentation

  • A $2,000 non-refundable license and alertness fee

  • Proof that the Office of Cannabis Management has granted the applicant permission to manufacture or process cannabinoid hemp (OCM)

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Dutchess County?

Yes. However, only medicinal marijuana dispensaries are open right now. The State of New York began accepting applications for retail adult-use cannabis licenses in August 2022. But as of September 26, 2022, applications were closed, and it is expected that licensees will be prepared to begin operating by the end of 2022. Once the licenses have been approved by the Cannabis Control Board, the adult-use retail dispensaries will be permitted to possess, purchase, sell, and deliver cannabis to customers who are 21 years of age and older. Three ounces of marijuana and 24 grams of cannabis concentrate are legal for adults over 21 to possess.

In New York, it is acceptable to purchase cannabis edibles. Oils, lozenges, cannabis flowers, cannabis concentrates, topical products, oral sprays, oral powders, and transdermal patches are some more cannabis products that are permitted for sale.

Cannabis may also be used in private residences or anywhere tobacco is permitted, with the exception of federal property, private enterprises (such as restaurant patios), automobiles, or "cigar bars." Additionally, within legal possession limitations, sharing cannabis with an adult over the age of 21 is permitted.

There are two different categories of eligibility requirements for cannabis retail dispensary applicants: qualifying non-profit criteria and qualifying commercial criteria.

  1. Those that wish to apply for qualifying non-profit criteria must have:

    • A significant presence in the state of New York

    • A minimum of five full-time workers

    • History of offering employment opportunities to people who have been or are now in prison, including the justice-involved individuals (justice-involved individuals are persons or their dependents who have been convicted of any offense related to cannabis in New York before March 3, 2021)

    • A history of serving those who are or have been incarcerated, such as justice-involved individuals

    • At least one member of the board, advising committee, governing committee, or justice-involved officer

    • Operated or be sponsored by a non-profit organization that makes revenue and carries out the objective of the parent organization and that social enterprise has been earning profit or net assets for at least two years

    1. To be regarded as meeting the qualifying business criteria, applicants must, nevertheless, fulfill the following requirements:
  • Significant presence in the state of New York

  • The majority of retail dispensaries are owned and run by justice-involved individuals with relevant entrepreneurial expertise

  • All applicants, including board members, must be at least 21 years old.

  • The LLC or partnership's members and affiliates must all be American citizens or lawful permanent residents

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Dutchess County?

Yes. Cannabis may be delivered directly to consumers' homes by retail license holders or delivery license holders. Cannabis delivery is permitted for medical marijuana patients with ID cards, their designated caregivers, or staff members of care facilities, provided that the quantity of cannabis in their possession does not exceed a 60-day supply in the doses and forms recommended by their doctors. This is according to Section 31 of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA).

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Dutchess County

Follow these three steps in order to become a certified medical cannabis patient in Dutchess County:

  • Ask your licensed physician if medical marijuana can benefit your health. In this situation, your doctor will provide you with a certificate allowing you to use medical marijuana to treat your condition.

  • Sign up online to register. A medical marijuana card will be mailed to you when you have registered, verified your registration, and had your application accepted. If your medical marijuana card hasn't yet been sent, you can also print out a temporary registration card and use it right away.

  • Buy medical marijuana. After acquiring your medical marijuana ID card, you can visit the licensed organization's cannabis dispensary to acquire medical cannabis. Don't forget to bring your certification and ID card.

Patients must be diagnosed with one of the following conditions in order to be eligible for a medical marijuana card:


  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Parkinson's disease

  • Alzheimer's disease

  • Dystonia

  • Muscular dystrophy

  • Spinal cord nerve injury accompanied by a neurological sign of uncontrollable spasticity

  • Epilepsy

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Huntington's disease

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Autism

  • Cancer

  • Neuropathies

  • Pain that impairs functional abilities and medical marijuana may be an alternative to opiate use

  • Substance use disorder

  • Any additional medical condition that the licensed doctor indicates

For more information, you may contact:

Office of Cannabis Management

W. Averell Harriman State Office Building Campus

Building 9, Albany, NY 12226

Phone: 1-888-OCM-5151 (1-888-626-5151)

Email: info@ocm.ny.gov.

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Dutchess County?

Legislators anticipate that the recent legalization of cannabis for adult use in New York will result in $1.3 billion in sales in the first year and 19,000 to 24,000 employment opportunities over the course of the first three years. This demonstrates that the state's economy is significantly impacted by the cannabis sector.

Additionally, the Marijuana Regulation Tax Act (MRTA) allocates 50% of licenses to applicants of social and economic equity and 40% of adult cannabis tax revenues to communities disadvantaged by drug use. Applicants for social and economic equity include persons who have lived in drug-affected neighborhoods as well as underrepresented groups such as women-owned businesses, veteran-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, and distressed farmers.

Depending on the amount of THC in the product overall and the product form, different tax rates are assessed at the cannabis distributor level:

  • Edibles are subject to a $0.03 per milligram of THC tax

  • Cannabis flowers (pre-rolls, shakes, loose flowers) are taxed at $0.005 per milligram of THC

  • Concentrates (wax, shatter, vaping oil, and resin) are taxed at $0.008 per milligram of THC

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Dutchess County

The Dutchess County Sheriff's Office's records from the FBI crime database show that DUI arrests in the county from 2019, 2020, and 2021 decreased from 260 to 120 to 81 cases. On the other hand, marijuana arrests in the county from 2019 to 2020 and 2021 also reduced from 86 to 15 and 5.

Keep in mind that New York began legalizing cannabis for adult use in 2021.

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