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

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Ulster County?

Cultivating marijuana is legal in Ulster County, as permitted by the laws and regulations executed by the State of New York. The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) regulates the medical and adult use of marijuana in the state. This includes licensing marijuana establishments and the cultivation, production, packaging, marketing, and sale of marijuana.

Cultivation, as defined by New York’s Cannabis Law, involves growing, cloning, harvesting, drying, curing, grading, and trimming marijuana plants. The OCM licenses establishments to grow medical and adult-use marijuana commercially. Cultivated marijuana may then be sold by these establishments to other holders of marijuana licenses and permits. As of April 2023, Ulster County has six licensed adult-use conditional cultivators. These cultivators can grow marijuana outdoors on 43,560 square feet of flowering canopy. Cultivation may also be done in a greenhouse with up to 20 artificial lights and 25,000 square feet of flowering canopy.

Home cultivation of medical and adult-use marijuana is also allowed in the county, with adult use to start only 18 months after the first retail sale of adult-use marijuana. Once permitted, Ulster County residents aged 21 and older may grow three mature and three immature plants in their homes for personal use. This may be increased to six mature and six immature plants in residences with more than three adults. On the contrary, medical marijuana patients and their designated caregivers have been allowed to cultivate medical marijuana in their homes since October 5, 2022. Only three mature and three immature plants may be grown in the residence of one medical marijuana patient. A maximum of six mature and six immature plants may be cultivated in residence with two or more patients. Outdoor cultivation is allowed as long as it is not visible to the public and is not easily accessible to prevent unauthorized entries.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Ulster County?

Yes, Ulster County abides by New York’s Cannabis Law which allows the manufacturing of medical and adult-use marijuana. Under state regulations, manufacturing encompasses cultivating, harvesting, extracting, processing, packaging, and labeling marijuana.

Under Article 3 Section 34, registered organizations are authorized by the state to acquire, possess, manufacture, sell, deliver, transport, distribute, and dispense medical marijuana. Manufacturing is only permissible if conducted in an enclosed and secured indoor facility. Registered organizations must manufacture at least one product with low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and high cannabidiol (CBD) content. A product with approximately equal THC and CBD contents must also be manufactured. Following OCM Regulation Part 113, the extraction of marijuana may only be conducted using mechanical methods, professional-grade closed-loop CO2 extraction systems, ethanol, or volatile solvents. Final products must be packaged in child-resistant and tamper-evident packaging with appropriate labels as stated in the OCM Regulations. Authorized laboratories must test all manufactured products to ensure their quality and safety.

Meanwhile, Article 4 Section 69 allows holders of an adult-use processor license to blend, extract, infuse, package, label, and produce marijuana products. The January 2022 data shows Ulster County has at least two adult-use conditional processor licensees. These licensees are subject to the same regulations followed by adult-use processor licensees. Manufactured products must adhere to the March 2023 packaging and labeling guidance developed by the OCM. Packaging must not be attractive to minors (individuals under 21 years old), and labels must contain the processor’s details, one universal symbol, usage instructions, lot number, and warning labels.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Ulster County?

As of April 2023, Ulster County has at least one registered organization in Kingston where medical marijuana patients can purchase flowers, pre-rolls, vaporizers, edibles, orals, tinctures, topicals, and accessories. On the other hand, no adult-use licensed dispensaries operate in the county yet. However, the state has nine licensed dispensaries that are only allowed to offer delivery services and not in-person sales.

Pursuant to Article 3 Section 34, medical marijuana patients or designated caregivers may purchase a 60-day supply of medical marijuana. Registered organizations may only dispense new orders once the patient only has a seven-day supply. A valid registry identification (ID) card or patient certification, and government-issued photo ID must be presented for every transaction.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Ulster County?

Yes, medical and adult-use marijuana may be delivered to Ulster County residents. Per New York’s Cannabis Law, registered organizations may deliver medical marijuana to patients and caregivers, while licensed adult-use retail dispensaries are authorized to deliver adult-use marijuana to adult residents.

As of April 2023, the only registered organization in Ulster County offers home delivery of medical marijuana to certified patients. Meanwhile, adult-use marijuana consumers may inquire in nearby licensed dispensaries if they provide delivery services to their location. The state limits the daily amount of adult-use marijuana delivery to 85 grams of marijuana flower and 24 grams of concentrated marijuana per consumer.

A valid ID card must be presented during deliveries to confirm the receiver’s identity and age. Deliveries are prohibited in public buildings, public spaces, community centers, schools, daycare centers, worship houses, and motor vehicles.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Ulster County

Ulster County residents may become certified medical marijuana patients by getting a certification and purchasing medical marijuana.

The State of New York no longer provides a list of qualifying conditions to be eligible for the use of medical marijuana. Instead, Ulster County residents are advised to consult a certifying healthcare practitioner to assess their eligibility. Since March 2023, patients who received their certifications are automatically registered in the program and no longer receive plastic registry ID cards. The printed patient certification and a valid government-issued photo ID must be presented when purchasing medical marijuana.

Inquiries may be sent to the Medical Cannabis Program through medical@ocm.ny.gov or a phone call at 888-626-5151.

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Ulster County?

In compliance with state laws, Ulster County implements the following tax rates on medical and adult-use marijuana:

  • Medical Marijuana - 7% excise tax on gross receipts sold to a certified patient or designated caregiver paid for by the registered organization.

  • Adult-use Marijuana - $0.03 per milligram of THC on edibles, $0.008 per milligram of THC on concentrates, $0.005 per milligram of THC on flowers, 9% state excise tax, and 4% local excise tax.

Taxes imposed on adult-use marijuana do not apply to medical marijuana. All collected taxes are deposited in the state’s cannabis revenue fund to cover program operations and law implementation. Excess funds are then allocated as follows: 40% to Education, 40% to Community Grants Reinvestment Fund, and 20% to Drug Treatment and Public Education Fund.

According to the 2022 Inaugural Annual Report of the OCM, the state has recorded a total medical cannabis revenue of $15,09,750 from April 2021 to March 2022. In the same period, the state has collected $120,000 in adult-use cannabis revenue – one year after New York legalized adult use.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Ulster County

Reports by the Ulster County Sheriff's Office on the FBI Crime Data Explorer reflect decreasing crime rates related to marijuana after the New York State legalized its medical and adult-use use in 2016 and 2021, respectively.

Arrests for marijuana possession offenses totaled 232 in 2015, 310 in 2017, 128 in 2019, and 25 in 2021. Meanwhile, arrests for marijuana sales offenses were zero in 205, two in 2017, five in 2019, and one in 2021.

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New York Cannabis County Info