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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...Read More
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.
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.
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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.