Certified Medical Marijuana patients may now grow cannabis at home


Whether it’s a morning stroll or warming up for his next marathon, Frank Falvo said part of pregame ritual is marijuana.

“If I don’t use it before I run, I cannot run as long. It takes away the pain, the inflammation, it helps me focus. It's great for running," said Falvo, a medical marijuana pharmacist.

As a medical marijuana cardholder, he’s looking forward to finally growing his own. Certified patients or their designated caregiver may now cultivate medical cannabis in their home.

“I would definitely be interested in growing my own. If you can find the strain that you really like and grow it yourself. People grow their own vegetables and it just seems to taste better," said Falvo.

Falvo said home growing will be more cost-effective and convenient for patients making long drives to dispensaries. According to the New York State Department of Health, nearly 125,000 New Yorkers are currently registered in the state’s medical marijuana access program.

“Albany to Plattsburgh, there’s nothing in between. I think there might be some medical dispensaries plan. But it’s a long drive, the product is fairly expensive too," said Falvo.

Falvo also works part time as a pharmacist for a medical cannabis dispensary in Albany. He said this change will allow patients to grow specific strains that tailor to their ailments.

“It definitely saves a lot of money, but there’s a lot of education that needs to be done on this. Because it's not as easy as it looks," Falvo said.

But before you start growing, there are a few rules to keep in mind. A certified patient may cultivate three mature and three immature plants. Designated caregivers with multiple patients can grow no more than six mature and six immature plants at a time.

As a patient and pharmacist, Frank is now looking to educate other on the topic. He just started a new cannabis consulting company.

“To be able to grow something that works for you consistently you’ll be all set, you never have to go anywhere," said Falvo. 

Region: New York