New York Cannabis Bar Association

NYCannabar FINALLY gets an answer to our FOIL request!

For months NYCannabar has been writing to Governor Cuomo and the New York State Health Department (DOH) asking for visibility into the DOH's study on the legalization of cannabis for adult-use.  After radio silence, NYCannabar filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request with the DOH in June 2018. 

On July 11, 2018 the DOH responded to our FOIL request.  The DOH provided no records or documents responsive to our request because "the records potentially responsive to [our] request are currently being reviewed for applicable exemptions, legal privileges, and responsiveness."  

In its FOIL response, the DOH noted that it should complete its process by September 13, 2018. 

You can imagine our collective surprise when, on July 13, 2018 -- a mere TWO DAYS after receiving the DOH FOIL response -- the DOH released the study itself!

New York Medical Marijuana Program Expansion Efforts: 2016 Bill Summaries

On January 7, 2016, New York’s medical marijuana program was officially launched after an eighteen month implementation process. Since the launch of the program, however, patient access has been significantly hampered due to the program’s restrictive regulations. In response, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried introduced four bills on March 10th that would fix some of the problems with program, so that patients can have safe and legal access to compassionate medical care and will not have to suffer needlessly...

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Lawmakers Seek to Expand New York's Fledgling Medical Marijuana Program

Medical marijuana dispensary proposals include marketing product to state's physicians:

Medical marijuana producers would be allowed to market their medicines directly to doctors, the way Big Pharma companies do, under one of the proposals lawmakers are expected to introduce soon to expand the new state program.

Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island, the Senate sponsor of the act that launched New York's medical marijuana program, said the change is being proposed to enlist the interest of more doctors. A dearth of registered doctors has created an obstacle for New Yorkers seeking to buy medical marijuana and is a factor contributing to the sluggish start of the state's medical marijuana program.

Legislation signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in mid-2014 paved the way for the medical marijuana program. The state's first retail dispensaries selling cannabis-based medicines opened early last month, but have seen little business so far.

Under New York's law, patients can buy medical marijuana only if they are certified by a doctor who has taken an online course and registered with the state. Local patients and statewide advocates have said they are having a hard time finding doctors who are registered.




First Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in New York State Open (NY Times)

ALBANY — New York joined the ranks of nearly half the states on Thursday in allowing the use of medical marijuana with the opening of eight dispensaries statewide, serving a variety of tinctures, concentrates, vapors and other forms of the drug.

How many patients actually received medicine from those dispensaries, however, was uncertain; several locations around the state had customers who entered, but it was not clear if any actually bought the drug, or were qualified to do so under the state’s strict guidelines. On Thursday, officials at the state’s Department of Health said that only 51 patients had been certified for the program thus far, though that process only began on Dec. 23 and requires the approval of a physician who has registered with the state.

Read more here...

Compassionate Care NY's Summary of New York's New Medical Marijuana Law (S7923/A6357-E)

Under New York’s new medical marijuana law, a patient who has been certified by a healthcare provider to use medical marijuana will register with the New York State Department of Health and receive a patient identification card. Specially approved organizations — such as hospitals or community health centers — will dispense the medical marijuana to registered patients, under DOH supervision.

How do patient's qualify to be part of the program? Read more here.

NYSBA Issues Ethics Opinion 1024 on Counseling Clients on Medical Marijuana Law

On September 24, 2014, the New York State Bar Association issued its opinion on counseling clients on medical marijuana law. According to NYSBA,

In light of current federal enforcement policy, the New York Rules permit a lawyer to assist a client in conduct designed to comply with state medical marijuana law, notwithstanding that federal narcotics law prohibits the delivery, sale, possession and use of marijuana and makes no exception for medical marijuana.

Read the entire opinion here.

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