Rockland County Cannabis Overview

  1. New York Cannabis
  2. Rockland County Cannabis

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Rockland County?

Yes, it is legal to cultivate cannabis in Rockland County. Cannabis was legalized in the State of New York for medical purposes in 2014 and for adult use in 2021. In New York, the Cannabis Control Board regulates licensing and approval procedures for cannabis cultivators as well as cannabis businesses. The Board also makes regulations that let licensed adult-use cultivators process different marijuana varieties in small quantities without the requirement of an adult-use cannabis processing license. Cannabis must also be grown utilizing agricultural production methods such as planting, harvesting, cloning, growing, sorting, trimming, and curing as per Section 68 of the Marihuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA). Adult cultivators may also apply for processor and distributor licenses under Section 68's regulations in order to distribute their produce.

Beginning October 5, 2022, approved patients who are members of the Medical Cannabis Program Registry, have medical marijuana cards, and are at least 21 years old are allowed to possess, grow, harvest, plant, process, and dry up to three immature female cannabis plants and three mature female cannabis plants in their homes. This is according to the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM). They are also limited to keeping and processing no more than five pounds of usable, non-growing cannabis. A private residence may only have a total of six female cannabis plants—six immature and six mature—if there are multiple certified patients living there.

If a patient isn't able to grow medical cannabis at home, the patient's registered caregiver is permitted to do so in the caregiver's own home. Only six female cannabis plants, six immature and six mature, may be grown by a caregiver at a time for a maximum of four patients. Each patient is allowed to have one caregiver grow medical marijuana for them. Patients are not eligible to market or distribute their own plants or products made from medical marijuana. However, if they have a surplus to avoid exceeding the permitted limitations, they may give away up to three ounces of marijuana or 24 grams of marijuana concentrate to another licensed patient or caregiver, providing they receive nothing in exchange.

Counties and other local governments do not have the right to forbid certified patients from having the legal right to acquire, cultivate, harvest, dry, and process the maximum amount of medical cannabis plants from their private dwellings. Patients are permitted to use and grow cannabis indoors or in private, non-shared outdoor areas of their home, provided that every cannabis-related activity is concealed from view by gates, fences, or other similar barriers. The cannabis plants must be stored and protected from unauthorized access by animals and anyone who aren't at least 21 years old.

On the other hand, businesses must first secure an adult-use cultivator license from the OCM in order to grow cannabis for commercial purposes. Under the rules of the license, they are permitted to possess, buy, cultivate, harvest, dry, cure, grade, and sell cannabis to authorized cannabis processors.

S.8084-A/A.9283-A, which was enacted into law in February 2022, created the conditional adult-use cultivator license. This extends the cultivator's authority to process cannabis and cannabis-related products until June 30, 2024, and distribute cannabis and cannabis-related products until June 1, 2023. The conditional license's objective is to accelerate the growth of the market for adult-use cannabis.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Rockland County?

The manufacture of cannabis is permitted in Rockland County. While licensed adult-use cultivators may plant cannabis, licensed processors and manufacturers may buy it from them. They are also allowed to sell cannabis, cannabis-related products, and cannabis extracts with other authorized manufacturers and processors. It is prohibited to produce, package, or label cannabis products in a way that would appeal to anybody under the age of 21.

Cannabis cannot be manufactured using well-known public figures, images, symbols, characters, games, toys, or slogans that minors are likely to recognize. Additionally, edible cannabis cannot be created, packaged, or made to resemble any food, cereals, candies, beverages, or cookies that are appealing to or popular among those who are below 21 years old.

According to Section 70 of the MRTA, cannabis is processed or manufactured through extracting, combining, infusing, branding, labeling, preparing, and packaging cannabis products. A person who has been granted a license to process cannabis may apply for and use a distributor's license to market their own goods.

Applicants must fulfill the following conditions in order to be eligible for an adult-use conditional processor license:

  • Primary contact details

  • A summary of the business plan

  • Main address, as well as a map of the location of the business

  • Proof of a valid occupancy permit

  • An estimated cannabis supply

  • A method for extraction, if relevant

  • If necessary, provide proof of workers' compensation

  • Information about ownership and management

  • All surrounding businesses that are not a part of the processing facility must be disclosed (if applicable)

  • A review of the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) records from each processing site

  • The applicant's acknowledgment and approval of the license's conditions

  • A $2,000 licensing and alertness fee that is not refundable

  • Proof that the application has been authorized to manufacture or process cannabinoid hemp by the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM)

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Rockland County?

Yes. However, as of December 2022, only medical marijuana dispensaries are open. In August 2022, the State of New York started accepting applications for retail adult-use cannabis licenses. Applications were closed on September 26, 2022, and it is anticipated that licensees will be ready to commence operations by the end of 2022. After the Cannabis Control Board approves the licenses, adult-use retail outlets will be able to possess, sell, purchase, and deliver cannabis to customers aged 21 and up. For adults over 21, 24 grams of cannabis concentrate and three ounces of marijuana are acceptable possession amounts.

Cannabis edibles can be bought legally in New York. Other cannabis products that are legal to sell include cannabis flowers, oils, lozenges, cannabis concentrates, transdermal patches, topical products, oral powders, and oral sprays.

In addition, sharing cannabis with an individual over the age of 21 is allowed within the limits of legal possession. Cannabis may be consumed in private residences or places where tobacco is allowed, except on federal property, private businesses (such as restaurant patios), vehicles, or "cigar bars."

For applicants of cannabis retail dispensaries, there are two different categories of eligibility requirements: qualifying business criteria and qualifying non-profit criteria.

  1. Those who intend to apply for the non-profit criteria must possess or ensure: \
  • A significant presence in New York

  • At least five full-time employees

  • A history of providing work opportunities to those who have served time or are currently in jail, including those justice-involved individuals (justice-involved individuals are people or their dependents who have been charged with any offense related to cannabis in the State of New York before March 3, 2021)

  • A track record of working with people who are or have been incarcerated, such as justice-involved individuals

  • At least one member of the advisory group, board, governing body, or justice-involved officer

  • Operated by or supported by a non-profit organization that generates income and advances the parent organization's mission, and that social business has been profitable or has accrued net assets for at least two years.

  1. Those who intend to apply for the business criteria must possess or ensure: \
  • A significant presence in New York

  • Most retail dispensaries are owned and operated by justice-involved individuals who have appropriate entrepreneurial experience

  • The minimum age for all applicants—including board members—is 21.

  • Members and affiliates of the LLC or Partnership shall be United States citizens or lawful permanent residents

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Rockland County?

Yes. Retail license holders or delivery license holders may distribute cannabis directly to the residences of consumers and patients with medical marijuana cards. Medical marijuana patients with ID cards, their designated caregivers, or employees of care institutions may receive cannabis delivery as long as the amount of cannabis they have in their possession does not go beyond a 60-day supply in the dosages and forms advised by their doctors. This is in accordance with Section 31 of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA).

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Rockland County

To become a licensed Rockland County medical cannabis patient, adhere to these three steps:

  • Consult a qualified doctor to determine whether medical marijuana can improve your health. A certificate authorizing you to use medicinal marijuana to treat your ailment will be given to you by your doctor.

  • Online registration is required. Once you have registered, verified your registration, and had your application approved, a medical marijuana card will be delivered to you. You can print out a temporary registration card or certificate and use it straight away if your medical marijuana card hasn't arrived yet.

  • Purchase medical cannabis. You can buy medical cannabis from a cannabis store run by an authorized organization after getting your medical marijuana ID card. Remember to bring your certification and ID card with you.

For patients to qualify for a medical marijuana card, they must have been identified as experiencing one of the following conditions:

  • Parkinson's disease

  • Alzheimer's disease

  • HIV/AIDS

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Dystonia

  • Muscular dystrophy

  • Epilepsy

  • Injury to the spinal cord, along with the neurological symptom of uncontrolled spasticity

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Huntington's disease

  • Substance use disorder

  • Neuropathies

  • Autism

  • Cancer

  • Any further medical issues the qualified doctor identifies

  • Medical marijuana may be a better option than opiate use in cases of pain that limits functional abilities

For more details, 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 Rockland County?

The recent legalization of cannabis for adult use in the State of New York is expected to generate $1.3 billion in sales in the first year and 19,000 to 24,000 employment opportunities during the course of the first three years, according to legislators. This indicates how the cannabis industry has a substantial impact on the state's economy.

Additionally, the Marijuana Regulation Tax Act (MRTA) distributes 40% of adult cannabis tax income to communities that are negatively impacted by marijuana usage and 50% of licenses to applicants of social and economic equity. People who have lived in drug-affected communities and underrepresented groups like women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, veteran-owned businesses, and struggling farmers are among the applicants for social and economic equity.

Different tax rates are applied at the cannabis distributor level depending on the overall THC content and product form:

  • A tax of $0.03 per milligram of THC is applied to edibles

  • Pre-rolls, shakes, and loose cannabis flowers are taxed at $0.005 per milligram of THC

  • Wax, shatter, vape oil, and resin concentrates are subject to a tax of $0.008 per milligram of THC

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Rockland County

The Rockland County Sheriff's Office's records from the FBI crime database show that DUI arrests in the county in 2016 and 2018 showed an increase in the number of DUI cases, from 25 to 51, respectively. On the other hand, marijuana arrests in the county in 2016 and 2018 also increased from 24 to 37.

New York legalized adult-use cannabis in 2021. However, the available and most recent data from the FBI database were the 2016 and 2018 figures.

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