new york city

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New York: City Council Holds Hearing On Synthetic Cannabinoids

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Amid Disappointing Conversations around Criminalization, Advocates Push for a Comprehensive Public Health Strategy to Deal with Synthetic Drugs

The New York City Council Committee on Public Safety on Monday held hearings about the growing concern surrounding synthetic cannabinoids. The hearings were held jointly with the Committees on Health and the Committee on Mental Health; Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Disability Services; and the Committee on Consumer Affairs

Recently, there have been several media reports of public drug use involving synthetic cannabinoids, such as spice and K2. Synthetic cannabinoids are a class of cannabinoid chemicals typically sprayed over plant matter and packaged with names like “K2,” “Spice” and “Green Giant.”

These are only the latest “legal highs” to come on the market that simulate the effects of prohibited drugs like marijuana, ecstasy (MDMA), opioids, cocaine and methamphetamine. In the past, as these kind of substances have been banned, manufacturers have simply invented new variations of the same substances to skirt the bans as well as for legitimate scientific purposes.

While synthetic cannabinoids are used by a wide range of people, media accounts have focused on their use by people who are homeless and/or criminal justice involved. The substances usually do not show up in drug tests that are sometimes required for people to access shelters or social services that require abstinence from illicit drugs, like marijuana.

New York: Sen. Gillibrand, State Sen. Savino To Headline Cannabis Business Summit

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U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) will deliver a noon keynote address on Monday, Sept. 21, at the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Fall Regional Cannabis Business Summit, taking place at the Wyndham New Yorker in New York City, Sept. 21-22.

New York State Senator Diane J. Savino (D-Staten Island) will also speak at the Summit, delivering the morning keynote on Tuesday, Sept 22. Other speakers at the event include two of the first licensed medical marijuana providers in the state of New York.

NCIA’s Fall Regional Cannabis Business Summit provides a platform for cannabis business professionals throughout the East Coast - including New York’s emerging medical marijuana market - to discuss best business practices and patient care, while also building a regional community and gaining valuable education on relevant policy issues.

NCIA brings its Cannabis Business Summit series to New York City at an essential time. New York is about to become the newest state to bring critically ill patients legal and safe access to life-changing medical marijuana therapies. Recently, the state awarded the first five licenses for medical marijuana providers, and two of the successful applicants - Hillary Peckham of Etain and Collete Bellefleur of Bloomfield - will share their insights in an intimate discussion at 9:15am on Monday.

New York: Group Wants NYC To Set Up Its Own Medical Marijuana Program

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A group of patients who are disappointed with the much criticized, heavily regulated medical marijuana program and its glacial pace in New York state has drafted a bill to make medicinal cannabis more accessible in New York City.

The group's proposed legislation, which responds to the state's Compassionate Care Act, establishes a "medical marihuana users' bill of rights" and asks the New York City Council to support creation of a "users cooperative," reports Madison Margolin at The Village Voice.

Longtime marijuana activist Dana Beal, one of about 10 contributors ot the bill, said the group hopes to establish a five-borough patients' cooperative "for people with serious maladies, including ones that aren't on the state list."

"The law and the regulations don't cover people who are [also] legitimate patients," Beal said. "We believe that under home rule, we can extend better availability and better prices to more people."

New York's Compassionate Care Act, signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in July 2014, is scheduled to take effect in January. Many have criticized it for being among the most restrictive, and least patient-friendly, in the country. The law doesn't allow for any smoking of marijuana, nor the use of any cannabis flowers, nor the use of infused edibles, but only allows oils, concentrates, dissolvable strips, patches, and tinctures.

New York: First Medical Marijuana Dispensary To Open In January

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New York City's first legal medical marijuana dispensary will open just off Union Square in January 2016.

The dispensary, on 14th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, will be run by Columbia Care, a New York City-based company that won one of the state's five licenses to open, reports Kate Rogers at NBC News. The licenses were awarded in July.

New York state allows for medical marijuana use -- but no smoking and no cannabis flowers -- under the 2014 Compassionate Care Act.

Forty-three companies from across the U.S. competed for the five licenses in New York state. Each allows for the operation of one manufacturing facility and four dispensaries, all of which must be based in New York state.

The New York Department of Health awarded the licenses; all five were granted to companies that will be growing marijuana in the state.

"We hope to move as closely to a pharmaceutical manufacturing process as we can," said Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care.

The other four license winners are Bloomfield Industries, Empire State Health Solutions, Etain, and Pharmacannais.

"The New York program is a symbolic step forward in terms of visibility and awareness," said founder Matthew Karnes of Greenwave Advisors, a marketing research firm.

New York: Medical Marijuana Facility Set To Open In Long Island City

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Medical marijuana in New York State won't be sold in the conventional form of flowers; instead, due to the way the state's medicinal cannabis law is written, it will primarily be sold in pill form. A new facility in Long Island City will be one of those which will grow, manufacture and package the cannabis in pill form.

Bloomfield Industries isn't yet releasing the exact locations of the dispensaries where authorized medical marijuana patients will be able to buy cannabis, but we do know there will be one in Manhattan, one in Nassau County and two upstate, reports Kristin Thorne at ABC 7.

The 230,000-square-foot facility in Long Island City will have one unit dedicated to research and production, and will employ about 100 people. It's expected to be up and running within six months.

The company will be doing community outreach, according to Julie Prom. "The first step will be to get out into the communities," Prom said. "To educate leaders that we are coming to the community and how they can help us help patients."

Bloomfield Industries is partnering with EPIC Long Island, which helps epilepsy patients, to raise awareness about the effectiveness of cannabis in treating seizures.

The state has approved 10 illnesses for which people can receive medical cannabis, including epilepsy, cancer and HIV/AIDS.

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