Each month, Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition (CWCBExpo) offers a convenient regional news round-up highlighting significant developments in the tri-state area and Pennsylvania. Get these updates in your inbox by subscribing to our email newsletter, or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter to get the most recent edition when it’s published.
Between the expansion of New York’s medical cannabis program and the newly legal adult-use market in Connecticut, there is no shortage of exciting developments underway. It’s critical for East Coast business leaders and entrepreneurs to stay up to date on regulatory changes within the local market. Read on to learn more about cannabis happenings this month in the Northeast cannabis industry.
New York will allow home grow for medical patients
New regulations by New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) will allow certified patients and designated caregivers to grow their own cannabis at home. The regulations were given final approval and took effect on October 5th, 2022.
The regulations allow medical cannabis patients and caregivers to grow up to three mature and three immature plants at home. Mature plants are defined as those which have buds forming, while immature plants do not have visible buds. The changes will also allow medical patients and caregivers to possess up to five pounds of cultivated marijuana in addition to their home-grown plants.
Office of Cannabis Management Executive Director Chris Alexander noted that the office has “prioritized patient access in this program,” and “it’s going to continue to be a priority.”
“I’m just really excited that we’re able to provide this more affordable option to patients to get access to that medicine,” he said in a September Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) Meeting.
It will remain illegal for a patient or caregiver to sell their home-grown cannabis, seeds, or plants to another person. However, they can gift up to 3 ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of concentrated cannabis to another certified patient or caregiver.
New Jersey releases cannabis workplace guidance
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJCRC) has released interim guidance for workplace cannabis testing 18 months after passing the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization (CREAMM) Act.
Under the CREAMM Act, New Jersey employers are prohibited from taking any adverse action against employees because of a positive THC test. The CREAMM Act also referenced the implementation of Workplace Impairment Recognition Experts (WIRE) to ensure an employer’s right to a drug free workplace during work hours. These experts would be individuals designated by the employer and certified to assess whether an employee is under the influence in the workplace or during work hours.
With no further guidance, the NJCRC issued interim guidance employers may utilize in detecting and identifying an employee’s workplace use or impairment from cannabis until the NJCRC formulates and approves standards for WIRE certifications.
According to the NJCRC, the guidance is meant to support employers’ right to create and maintain safe work environments but also says that employees cannot be acted against solely due to the presence of cannabis in their bodies. The interim guidelines include a “Reasonable Suspicion Observation Report Form.” Employers have the right to drug test with reasonable suspicion of impairment.
Connecticut launches cannabis education campaign
With the legal sale of adult-use cannabis expected to begin within a few months, Connecticut is officially launching an education campaign about safe consumption. Launched as a partnership between the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, the education campaign aims to demonstrate safety precautions for potential cannabis businesses and consumers.
All campaign material, which includes videos, flyers, and brochures, will be developed by agencies that treat addiction and protect consumers, public health, and mental health. Other topics include how to store and dispose of cannabis and cannabis waste safely and what to do if a child or pet accidentally ingests cannabis.
“Protecting public health and safety includes providing people with the tools and knowledge to make informed decisions to keep their families safe,” Governor Lamont said in a statement. “We’re working to educate the public about the steps they can take to protect themselves and their families from accidental ingestion and over-consumption. We encourage adults who choose to use these products to do so responsibly.”
The education material will be available for anyone and can be downloaded for free on the state’s adult-use cannabis website.
Stay connected with East Coast cannabis through CWCBExpo
Both new and existing state cannabis programs are evolving at a rapid rate. Every state has its own set of regulations, and the East Coast market is expanding quickly. In addition to our annual business-to-business trade shows, CWCBExpo’s monthly news round-ups are a great and convenient way to stay in the loop on all local news and events. Subscribe to our email newsletter or follow us on social media to stay updated on the most important cannabis news on the East Coast and beyond.