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New York: Gov. Cuomo, Lawmakers Want To Speed Up Medical Marijuana Program

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Members of Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration this week met with about a dozen medical marijuana advocates as some New York lawmakers called on Cuomo to speed up the process of making cannabis available to patients in need.

Meeting with the advocates on Monday were Deputy Secretary of Health Courtney Burke and Howard Zucker of the New York Department of Health, reports Jon Campbell at PressConnects. Last week, bill sponsors wrote to Gov. Cuomo, urging him to consider different ways to get medical marijuana to terminally ill patients more quickly.

Under New York's new medical marijuana law, the Department of Health has 18 months to get the state's system up and running.

The purpose of Monday's meeting was to keep the lines of communication open with advocates as the state begins to implement the program, Westchester County resident Kate Hintz, whose daughter Morgan, 3, suffers from Dravet syndrome, a rare and severe form of epilepsy.

"I'm pleased that they have opened a dialogue with advocates and parents, such as myself," Hintz said. "I think that there are ways that we can safely and efficaciously provide medicine sooner than an 18-month time period."

New York Officially Becomes 23rd Medical Marijuana State

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Patients, Caregivers and Healthcare Providers Thank Legislators and Governor, Immediately Turn Their Attention to Swift Implementation: “Patients Are Out of Time and Need Access Now”

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed a medical marijuana bill into law, making New York the 23rd state to allow legal access to medical marijuana for seriously ill patients. Patients, caregivers and healthcare providers are attending the bill signing ceremony at The New York Academy of Medicine, along with the bill sponsors, Assemblyman Dick Gottfried and Senator Diane Savino.

After years of advocacy and intense last minute negotiations between lawmakers, the bill passed on the final day of the legislative session with extraordinarily strong bipartisan support. New York is the second largest state in the nation

“Thanks to the bill sponsors and the Governor’s actions today, New York has joined twenty-two other states in creating safe and legal access to medical marijuana for seriously ill patients,” said Holly Anderson, executive director of the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. “Patients in New York have been fighting for this for 18 years, and they have waited long enough. I urge the Governor to do everything within his power to insure that patients in New York can access medical marijuana as soon as possible."

New York: With Clock Running Out, Patients and Caregivers Urge Passage of Medical Marijuana Law

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Last Day of the Legislative Session Arrives as Negotiations Between Governor, Senate and Assembly Continue

Patients & Families to Deliver Thousands of Signatures to Albany Leadership, Demanding Action: “Don’t Make Us Wait Another Year for Relief -- Bring the Bill to the Senate Floor Today!”

On what is scheduled to be the last day of New York’s legislative session, dozens of patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers will gather in Albany on Thursday to deliver thousands of petition signatures urging Governor Cuomo and Senate leaders to pass the Compassionate Care Act.

Although many are sick and disabled, they will travel from all over the state — New York City, Western New York, Long Island, and Central New York — to make final pleas to the Legislature to pass the Compassionate Care Act – A.6357-D (Gottfried) / S.4406-D (Savino) — before it’s too late. The bill would create one of the nation’s most tightly regulated medical marijuana programs and allow seriously ill patients access to a small amount of marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.

On Monday, more than 100 advocates rallied in Albany chanting “Pass the Compassionate Care Act” in the hopes that state lawmakers would hear their cries for compassion. The Governor, bill sponsors, and leadership in both houses are still negotiating to try and reach agreement on the bill.

New York: State Assembly Passes Comprehensive, Bipartisan Medical Marijuana Bill

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New York One Step Closer Becoming 23rd Medical Marijuana State

Patients and Families Cheer Assembly Action, Call for Vote in the Senate

The New York State Assembly on Tuesday passed the Compassionate Care Act (A. 6357-B/Gottfried) by a bipartisan vote of 91–34. This is the fifth time that the Assembly has passed a medical marijuana bill, and comes just months after the Assembly included the measure in their one-house state budget proposal. The bill remains stalled in the Senate.

The bill, known as the Compassionate Care Act, would provide relief for thousands of New York patients suffering from serious and debilitating conditions -– such as cancer, MS, and epilepsy -- by allowing the use of medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider. Patients, caregivers, and providers watched from the gallery as the Assembly debated and then voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill.

“Once again the Assembly has shown that it understands the needs of seriously ill patients in New York,” said Donna Romano of Syracuse. “As someone who lives with MS and seizures, I know medical marijuana can help alleviate my suffering and that of thousands of other New Yorkers.

"I hope the Senate will finally do the right thing and pass the Compassionate Care Act now," Romano said.

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