ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State took a step forward on Wednesday in its efforts to implement the legalization of marijuana. Medical patients and providers are now allowed to start growing their own cannabis at home.

Patients must be at least 21 years old and have to get certification from their doctor before registering with the Office of Cannabis Management. Plants can be grown indoors or outdoors, but they need to be on private property and out of public view. Cultivators can only have three mature and three immature plants at one time.

Supporters said the program is an important step forward.

“This offers a new opportunity for patients in New York State to help improve affordability and accessibility for those patients, who might want to grow their own cannabis at home for medical use,” Nicole Quackenbush, NYS Office of Cannabis Management Dir. of Health and Safety, said.

The state is hoping to begin retail cannabis sales for those ages 21 and older by the end of 2022, but it’s unclear when they will start. Regulators received more than 900 applications for retail dispensary licenses. They plan to approve 150 of them, but regulators have not said how long that process will take.