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New York: Dept of Health Adds Organizations to Medical Marijuana Program

New York Cannabis - Times Union

As of August 1, 2017, there are 25,736 certified patients and 1,139 registered practitioners participating in the program and the number of certified patients has increased by 10,744 or 72 percent since the addition of chronic pain in late March

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

The New York State Department of Health yesterday announced that it has authorized five additional registered organizations to manufacture and dispense medical marijuana in New York State, an initiative aimed at improving patient access and the geographic distribution of dispensing facilities across the state. The newly approved organizations are Citiva Medical, Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, New York Canna, PalliaTech NY and Valley Agriceuticals.

New York: Senate Passes Bill Allowing Patients With PTSD Access to Medical Cannabis

New York Cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

A bipartisan proposal to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition for New York’s medical cannabis program has received final approval from state lawmakers and is headed to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Senate passed S 5629 on Tuesday (50-13), and the Assembly version, A 7006, received overwhelming approval in May (131-8).

S 5629 was introduced by Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) with a bipartisan coalition of seven co-sponsors, including Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn), who previously opposed medical marijuana legislation. A second bill, A 7006, was introduced by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried (D-Manhattan) with bipartisan support.

New York: State Assembly Passes Legislation To Seal Past Marijuana Possession Convictions

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Bill is First Step Toward Comprehensive Plan to Redress Harms of the War on Drugs in Communities of Color

As Legislative Clock Winds Down, Advocates and Assemblymembers Urge Senate to Quickly Pass the Companion Bill in the Senate

The New York State Assembly on Wednesday voted in support of A10092, a bill that will seal the criminal records of people who have been unjustly and unconstitutionally arrested for simple possession of marijuana in public view. The bipartisan vote was 92 in favor and 34 opposed.

Over the last 20 years, more than 700,000 New Yorkers have been arrested for simple possession of marijuana. Those convicted face significant barriers to accessing education, employment, housing opportunities, and other state services.

“I introduced the marijuana sealing bill because drug laws have created a permanent underclass of people unable to find jobs after a conviction,” said Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes. “One of the most damaging issues derived from the war on drugs is that the policies are inherently racist.

"Communities of color have been devastated by bad drug policies and hyper-criminalization for the last 40 years," Peoples-Stokes said. "It is an approach that has never worked and has caused significantly more harm than good to our communities and to our families.

California: Tainted Synthetic Marijuana Hits Los Angeles Streets

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck reported Wednesday that fifteen people were hospitalized over the weekend after consuming artificial cannabis. Artificial cannabis is made in a lab, not a greenhouse, and consists of THC-like chemicals applied to plant matter. It can be much stronger than botanical marijuana.

“They are cutting it with something lethal,” Rev. Andy Bales, who runs a local mission, told the Los Angeles Times. “We’ve seen violence and convulsions…. I saw a guy rolling into the street on Friday.”

This is not the first such incident related to synthetic marijuana. Last April synthetic marijuana in New York caused 160 hospitalizations in two weeks, according to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). It’s “direct proof,” Cuomo said in a statement, that “synthetic drugs are anything but harmless.” The governor’s office compared synthetic cannabis to other drugs like bath salts and PCP. Like bath salt users, people who consume synthetic marijuana report violent behavior, vomiting, seizures and other aggressive symptoms, quite unlike the natural marijuana user's experience.

New York: Gov. Cuomo Signs Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill

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Patients and Families Applaud Gov. Cuomo and Call on Health Department to Implement Law Quickly and Get Medicine to Critically Ill Patients

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

After months of pressure from patients and advocates, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed a bill that will expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients.

In June, with overwhelming bipartisan support, both houses of the legislature passed A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), directing the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible. The bill was delivered to Governor on October 30, and he had until Wednesday to either sign or veto the bill.

The bill instructs the state to issue patient cards to qualified, critically ill patients as soon as possible, making it clear that they are medical marijuana patients and affording them some protection from law enforcement and child protective services.

"Patients in New York have waited long enough for legal access to medical cannabis," said Roger Volodarsky, founder and CEO of local Brooklyn-based vaporizer technology company Puffco. "It's outrageous that they have been forced to go years without relief while politicians procrastinate, but this new law means that the day when those who need marijuana-based medicine will be able to safely obtain it from legal businesses will be here sooner rather than later."

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