Big NY Banks Tell Licensed Medical Marijuana Firms To Take a Hike

NEW YORK: Some of the major federally regulated banks in New York have no plans to do business with the medical marijuana companies that were awarded licenses to grow and distribute the drug.

That means the banks will not accept deposits from the companies and will not allow bank-issued debit cards to be used to purchase the drug.

“While the use of medical marijuana is legal under applicable state laws in some states, the manufacture, distribution, and use of marijuana is still illegal under federal law,” a spokesman for Wells Fargo said. “Our policy of not banking marijuana-related businesses is based on applicable federal laws.”

NYC Hosts Medical Marijuana Expo As State Ramps Up For Legalization

NEW YORK: New York state lawmakers and advocates of medical marijuana gathered in New York City on Sunday to discuss the implementation of a new state law authorizing medical marijuana.

The event drew potential patients, policymakers and hundreds of people interested in working in the new medical marijuana industry. State lawmakers voted this year to make New York the 23rd state to authorize pot for patients with conditions including AIDS, cancer and epilepsy.

But the program isn’t likely to be up and running before 2016 as regulators work out the details. Drug suppliers and businesses that provide ventilation, lighting, security or other services related to cultivation attended this weekend’s Marijuana Regulatory Summit to learn about the new law, said Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island.

Gov. Cuomo Wants Big Changes To Medical Marijuana Bill

NEW YORK:  Gov. Cuomo has outlined a series of concerns to lawmakers that must be addressed before he’ll even consider signing the bill to legalize medicinal marijuana in New York, the Daily News has learned.

Cuomo and legislative leaders began negotiations on a potential bill last week in hopes of reaching a deal before the legislative session concludes on Thursday. But administration officials Sunday said there are a host of conditions Cuomo told legislative leaders and the bill sponsors that he wants met, some of which others say could torpedo a possible deal.

Aides said Cuomo wants to bar the smoking and sharing of medical pot. Senate bill sponsor Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) amended her bill to prohibit the smoking of medical marijuana by anyone under 21. But a Cuomo official said allowing people to smoke the drug while there are other options like vaporization, pills and food form would send the wrong message after the state has spent big money on anti-smoking measures over the years.

Medical Marijuana Legislation Continues Through NY Legislature, Waiting To Head To Senate Floor

NEW YORK: The fate of a medical marijuana bill remains up in the air in New York State. The State Assembly has approved a version that would allow patients to obtain the drug for medical treatment, while a similar measure remains hung up in the State Senate.

Advocates cheered as the New York State Assembly approved a medical marijuana bill that would  permit patients to possess small amounts of marijuana to treat approved medical conditions.

The legislation also sets up licensed dispensaries to grow and sell the drug to sick people.

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, of the Hudson Valley, voted with the majority of Democrats in the chamber, saying the measure would give “law abiding citizens” the chance to access needed medicine.

“This is the group that I’m most concerned with, Mr. Speaker” Cahill said during the debate. “Those people who will not even entertain the notion of the illegal use of marijuana just because it is illegal, not because it is not efficacious, not because it’s not a good idea.”

Medical Marijuana To Be Approved In NY Assembly Today

NEW YORK: The state Assembly today is set to approve the Compassionate Care Act — the measure that would legalize medical marijuana in New York.

There’s little suspense: the Democratic-led Assembly has been approving various pieces of legislation to legalize medical marijuana for several years.

If approved, the bill would head to the state Senate, where its fate is uncertain but where a version of which passed the Senate Health Committee last week.

It’ll also be interesting to see how many Republicans back the measure in the Assembly. Last year, marijuana supporter Assemblyman Steve Katz, R-Yorktown, Westchester County, spoke in favor of the measure after he was ticketed for marijuana possession and then changed his vote.

Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill Passed By NY Senate’s Health Committee for the first time

NEW YORK: Backers of legalizing medical marijuana in New York were flying high Tuesday after the measure cleared a state Senate committee for the first time.

The Health Committee approved the bill on a 9-8 vote, with one Republican, Sen. William Larkin of Orange County, joining eight Democrats in voting “yes.”

Medical marijuana advocates, who have been frustrated for years by Senate opposition, erupted in cheers and applause when the final tally was announced.

“This bill is really about a simple concept, which is to alleviate suffering,” said Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan). “I can’t think of a more important or noble pursuit on the part of . . . the Legislature.”


Medical Marijuana Could Be Legalized In New York This Spring: Advocates

NEW YORK: Medical marijuana may finally be growing on New York State lawmakers.

Bolstered by growing public acceptance and hints of support from Gov. Cuomo, proponents of pot as medicine believe newly re-drafted legislation will be approved in Albany this spring – making New York the 22nd state to legalize medical marijuana.

“We’re closer to this than we have ever been before,” said Gabriel Sayegh of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Hoping to overcome the remaining opposition in the state Senate, advocates have revised the legislation to place tighter restrictions on how the drug can be used and who gets to use it.

New York's Medical Marijuana Experiment Begins With Caution

NEW YORK:  New York is one of the only states in the Northeast without a medical marijuana program.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was opposed to medical marijuana, and attempts to create a law have failed to get through the state Senate for years.

Now Cuomo has reversed himself, proposing a medical marijuana research program run under exacting federal guidelines that would be the most restrictive in the country.

Cuomo is bypassing the legislature, taking executive action to revise a 1980 law allowing the drug for research.

“We’ll establish a program allowing up to 20 hospitals to prescribe medical marijuana,” he said in his State of the State speech last week. “We will monitor the program to evaluate the effectiveness and the feasibility of a medical marijuana system.”

Cuomo knows his constituents: Some polls show 80 percent of New Yorkers support medical marijuana, Democrats and Republicans. Doctors are more divided, with some saying medical use of marijuana is untested.


Cuomo Says He's 'Comfortable' With Medical Marijuana Plan

NEW YORK: Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he’s changed his stance on medical marijuana in part because the state will have control over how the program is administered.

Cuomo plans in his State of the State address on Wednesday to announce the legalization of medical marijuana at 20 hospitals in New York and for limited diseases, such as cancer and glaucoma. He hasn’t detailed the locations or the specific regulations, but he will do it through executive order rather than through a new law adopted by the Legislature.

Cuomo said having the state Department of Health oversee the program would allow the state to quickly make any changes if there are problems. Twenty states have legalized medical marijuana.

“I feel comfortable with this approach,” Cuomo told reporters at the Capitol. “Medical marijuana — I understand the upside. I also understand the downside. If you look at some of the states that have done marijuana, you’ll see the downside clearly.”