Medical Marijuana Now Legal But Few Patients On First Day

NEW YORK: Lisa Valle stood outside Bloomfield Industries‘ medical marijuana dispensary Thursday knowing she couldn’t get medicine for her sick daughter, but she wanted to go inside anyway.

“It’s been a long road,” Lisa said.

Her daughter, Maya, has a severe form of Epilepsy that causes seizures. Lisa and Maya’s doctors believe the medical marijuana may help. Thursday is the first day the drug is legal in New York State, following 2014 passage of the Compassionate Care Act.

But Lisa doesn’t have a patient certification card, which is necessary before the marijuana can be sold.


Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Prepare To Open Doors In N.Y.

NEW YORK: Armed with New York state medicinal marijuana licenses, dispensaries are gearing up to sell cannabis legally in the state in the new year.

The cannabis experiment continues as medicinal marijuana use becomes more widespread. New York state, as an example, has rolled out dispensary licenses and is getting doctors and patients on board. Startups are growing local product as rules require, and are preparing for consumer-facing dispensary openings next year.

In total, 23 states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana use, according to industry watcher GreenWave Advisors. Four states and D.C. allow for recreational use.

One of New York state’s five licenses to operate was awarded to health startup Vireo Health New York, formerly Empire State Health Solutions. Employees are preparing several dispensary openings — in Queens, White Plains, Binghamton and Colonie, right outside of Albany.

Hospitals Back Providers Applying For New York State Marijuana Licenses

NEW YORK: New York’s new medical marijuana program has drawn the interest of several major hospitals, which have formed alliances with aspiring growers to try to make the drug accessible to their patients.

Friday was the deadline for companies to apply to become one of up to five licensed medical marijuana producers and distributors in the state. The State Health Department said on Friday that it was not yet able to release the number or names of the companies that had applied.

But one hospital group, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, with a heavy presence in and east of New York City, announced that it had applied for a license in partnership with Silverpeak Apothecary, a medical marijuana company based in Colorado, where marijuana has been legalized for medical and recreational use. A new company, Silverpeak NY, was created for the application.

Committee On Drugs And The Law Present The Future of Marijuana Law in New York City Wed 1/28/15

NEW YORK: On Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, the Committee on Drugs and the Law and the New York City Affairs Committee will host an open discussion of the past, present and possible futures of cannabis law in New York City.

Featured panelists include Stephen Levin, New York City Council, District 33; Jumaane D. Williams, New York City Council, District 45; and Nitin Savur, Deputy Chief of Trial Division in Charge of Criminal Courts, Office of the New York County District AttorneyModerator: Patricia Salkin, Dean and Professor of Law, Touro Law Center

Public attitudes and laws governing the use of cannabis have been changing fast and creating challenges and opportunities for policymakers at the state and local level.

The changes in New York State during 2014 were especially great. A new statute legalized certain limited uses of cannabis for medical purposes and the Department of Health has released draft regulations for public comment. After attempting in 2012 to convince the State legislature to expand the scope of New York’s cannabis decriminalization statute, New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance endorsed the de Blasio administration’s announcement that the New York City Police Department will issues summonses for possession of personal-use amounts of cannabis open to public view instead of making arrests. Earlier, Kings County District Attorney Kenneth Thompson announced that his office will not prosecute first-time offenders for possession of personal-use amounts.

Meanwhile, if proposed legislation that would regulate cannabis like alcohol succeeds, it will require adjustments to state and local law far broader than those necessary to create the newly legalized medical-use-only cannabis market.

The event sponsors include the Committee on Drugs and the Law and the New York City Affairs Committee.



New York Medical Marijuana, Out Of Joint

NEW YORK:  On Friday, New York became the 23rd state to pass a bill creating legal access to medical marijuana for patients with certain serious, debilitating conditions. Without question, this is a huge victory for New York patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and other conditions who have been waiting many years for relief.

Still, the law leaves unchanged the unconscionable status quo in which tens of thousands of New Yorkers, most of them black and Latino, are put through the criminal justice system for mere possession of small amounts of marijuana.

And even within the context of medical marijuana, the legislation is the result of political compromises with the governor that were needed to gain final passage. Those compromises include serious limitations that will leave many patients behind and complicate implementation. It becomes clear that politics, not science, drove the final agreement.