New York State Legislature and Governor Come to Agreement on Medical Marijuana

New York State lawmakers announced today that they have come to agreement to approve a limited pilot program for medical marijuana in the Empire State.

An agreement was reached to amend the bill to include provisions demanded by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, including provisions that prohibit the smoking of marijuana. Instead, the amended measure is expected to only allow for non-smoked preparations of cannabis (such as oils). The compromised measure also reduces from the original bill of the number of qualifying conditions, as well as the total number of state-licensed producers and dispensers that will be allowed. (A final draft of the compromised language has not yet been made public.)

The pilot program will be overseen by the State Health Department and would last for seven years, with the option to reauthorize the program after that period has expired. After final approval, the State Health Department will have up to 18 months to establish regulations and authorize entities permitted to dispense it. The governor, upon recommendation by the state police superintendent or the state health commissioner, would have the authority to suspend the program.

NORML will keep you updated as this situation evolves.

62 thoughts

  1. And everybody else who benefits from cannabis who do not qualify for NY MMJ are just plain old screwed. Way to make sure MMJ fails to be profitable in NY just Christie did in NJ because too few of the people who benefit from MMJ are going to qualify or jump through all your damn fiery hoops. Cuomo is such a douche.

    And so it goes, the underground marijuana market will continue to thrive.

    The Beat Goes On
    Sonny & Cher

  2. Yea New York!

    Next we need to remove marijuana from schedule 1 where it does not belong. We need to continue using science when writing laws, not a 1937 law based on the color of a mans skin.

    We also need hemp farming, share cropping, and distribution chains to make it profitable.

    Jobs, jobs and more jobs. Medicine for the sick and research on cures.

  3. Well it’s a step forward in NY. Unfortunately, Cuomo has once again disapointed his constituents.

    Between his obstructive behavior regarding mmj pissing off the liberals/progressives, and Cuomo’s Safe Act pissing off conservatives…I predict a HUGE defeat for that shifty, conceited jackass.

  4. New York will need a new Governor to greatly improve access to medical marijuana for patients. This bill is so restrictive that it will only assist a small percentage of suffering patients.
    For now, many patients should still strongly consider fleeing New York for a more compassionate and progressive state.

  5. Mr. President will never be Cuomo’s moniker if he continues to stake out this position. I hate when our politicians act like P%$^&%S! This is nothing but evidence as to where a most probably sizeable chunk of “this” politicians contributions come from; we have that problem in a few states.

    When is the election for Governor of NY? Is it time for a change?

  6. Hello i have been subjected to nasty chemicals to treat servere shoulder pain for nearly fifteen years now .i would much rather have the choice to choose how i relieve my pain .. medical pot should be an individials right ….

  7. CLAP! Clap! Clap! Clap… Claaaa… Waitaminute… Oil… And are vaporizers legal? So if a patient is suffering from chemotherapy, and about to vomit themselves to death, literally, knowing full well that a vaporizer will stop the nausea, will they be charged with paraphanalia? Have the NYPD stopped their stop and friskathon before the Mayor kicks new laws into gear? And when do these new laws take effect?

  8. I don’t feel to good about this. I know it’s a step in the right direction, but it is such a small and restricted step that I feel it will be a while before we see any more progress for a while.

  9. Let’s see, what is missing here and other issues?

    1) Grow your own.

    2) Respect.

    3) Lack of control-freak impulse control.

    4) Why does it have an expiration date? Does the medical utility of the marijuana have an expiration date?

    5) fact finding. We already know everything about marijuana and how it should be used, but we’re not doctors and have never used marijuana. But we’re going to tell you how to use it.

    This is the worst “medical marijuana” idea ever. It is like Cuomo is taking a big ol’ shit right on medical marijuana bill for NY and saying he signed it.

  10. I was wondering if anyone had additional information on the production. My family owns a bicentennial Fruit farm that we are looking to cultivate medical marijuana on. Looking for any info on applications or a contact number at the department of health. Thanks in advance

  11. When to read this bullshit bill, you have to say
    ” Are you kidding me?”
    What a waste of time & effort. Program designed to fail.
    Read the details. False Victory.
    Nothing here folks, just smoke & mirrors.
    Pay no attention to the evil man behind the curtain ( CUCKOLD CUOMO )
    oh by the way guess who is running for reelection in the fall?
    I’m voting for somebody else.

  12. Vote Cuomo out this year. He’s doing nothing more than playing both sides of the fence. The majority want it legalized and Cuomo still wants to please his campaign donors who want the prisons filled.

  13. Keeping a vaporizor and some oil in the house is still a lot better than coming back from the pharmacy with a pill bottle full of neatly packaged, opiate based, end of life, heroin gateway pills.

    Besides my fight was for the children who need this life saving oil now. Once the public sees these kids using a medication that works, the demand will grow along with our education of what else it’s good for.

    What Cuomo needs to do now is set up a banking system and dispensaries to handle the cash flow and demand. Since the federal government still considers marijuana schedule 1 hospitals won’t touch it.

    New York is not prepared for medical marijuana yet anyway, there is still a grow period, licensing, and many other items to get through. A small step with Cuomo is still better than what Texas has (sorry Julian).

    Now I want to see how our state senators voted on medical marijuana so this November we can stack the deck for smarter laws in 2015.

    In New York, mj is decriminalized, so just carry your card with you and explain to the officer that your vaporizor ran out of power and you are using a backup.

    One question, if the tax is $250 per pound sold, wouldn’t oil result in less tax since it is so much more concentrated? I’m thinking Cuomo may have just cost New York a lot of tax revenue. Big bulky green buds for smoking are heavy and that’s your profit margin.

  14. It seams the puritan phonies are out in full force. Most of us know that this is nothing more than appeasing the tide by not giving a pass to one 50th of a percent. Every one else they can continue to arrest for the great prisons and probation for profit business. When money can be made taking away peoples freedom bad things are going to happen. Most medications for pain make you feel good (a good thing). It is amazing how when it is convenient for politicians to act like this drug is new and they do not know enough about it to make a decision. Then when it is convenient politicians are experts on what part of the plant should be used and when, MAINLY TO RESTRICT. Most of the people who know this issue know how backward our lawmakers have been. Imagine what other areas of our countries issues these leaders are wrong about. This type of leadership is why our country is in such bad shape! Do not let these clown’s turn your country into a penal colony!

  15. How Muscular Dystrophy patients could be left off the NY list is honestly disgusting. Having watched a loved die of cachexia related to Muscular Dystrophy, I can only say that I would not wish it on anyone, even these heartless, schmendrick politicians, who cannot seem to trust medical Doctors to make proper decisions.

  16. Cuomo is a moron! Why in the hell does he think things are better once they’ve been processed? It is just idiocy! Still, he’s better than ol’ Mitt the Twit…; I know, that ain’t sayin’ much…

  17. This bill allows for more conditions to be added if the health commissioner feels the need, it’s not the best bill but still a step in the right direction

  18. its about time to see NY do something about this, its a shame that they plan to leave many disabled people out of treatment thats better for them. Time to remove Cuomo out and bring someone in that stands up for the people he/she works for.

  19. Yep! One step closer – and they’ve opened the door to prohibition just a crack (while NY divvy’s up how MJ is going to be eventually regulated) and NY believers now have their foot wedged at the bottom. So kick it open in their chest – and keep pushing for at least the medical marijuana grow-operation and distribution California has. The “pot shop” suburban-logistics have progressed since 1996, with cooperation from city governments. Resistance is crumbling from the weight OF THE TAX INCOME RIVER OF CASH AND CREDIT CARD PURCHASES.
    NY can grow high THC marijuana. I’ve tried some from the Catskills and it’s as dank as SFV (San Fernando Valley) OceanGrown (OG). Pot grown outdoors Has a longer lasting effect than indoor. Strive for “outdoor growing” and surpass California in wine…I mean marijuana, cultivation awareness.
    Some might be of the opinion that the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, Mass., and established the first colonies. California wasn’t doing much until, when? 1800? What makes the cultural growth uneven – the weather? or the population density? Something. One day they’ll “do a study”. 🙂
    Don’t give up NY. It may take 5-years to remove 80-years of inbred fear from New Yorkers state of mind. We can all help by putting NY in a very UNFASHIONABLE SPOTLIGHT. New York Islanders will be revolted by the square-label.
    Keep Pushing. The squeaky wheels get oiled, but you need to squeak, if that makes any sense at all.

  20. Glad for your success.
    Strange that “eating” marijuana would be allowed first, since it will be processed by your liver. Heating marijuana increases it’s potency. People can have adverse reactions and the effects last longer than inhaling smoke.
    Smoke or vapor goes directly to the brain.
    I can foresee “overdoses” that will give marijuana a bad name. Be careful.

  21. As a person with Crohn’s Disease I am upset that this MMJ legislation is so ridiculously restrictive. At the same time I have to stay optimistic in the fact that even a person like Cuomo who Does not like MJ reform had to sign something into law. I see this as a baby step and now we just need to continue on getting the word out on the benefits of this plant and to break down these horrible stigma’s. Rome wasn’t built in a day and we have over 70yrs of propaganda to peel away. A State as big as NY is going to take some time to finally become enlightened.

  22. Kirk Perry says:

    “I can foresee “overdoses” that will give marijuana a bad name. Be careful.”

    Kirk, are you serious? A person cannot smoke or eat enough cannabis to overdose it is not humanly possible.

    Marijuana is the safest, most benign substance available legal or illegal. If done properly legal Marijuana will be a boon to the U.S. in many, many ways.

    We went to Denver this year and loved it; experienced users will love to indulge in all facets of legalization as it comes online.

    If you don’t like it or don’t know what it’s about, don’t use it.

  23. I just don’t understand this. Does the governor realize that oil is concentrated thc and the jury is still out on whether or not vaporizing in general is bad for your health. I say look at history. No one has ever died from smoking weed, no one has ever been proven to be allergic either. This makes marijuana one of the most non toxic substances on earth. Now because of this bill they will have to use butane or co2 to extract the thc and add glycerin into the mix so it can be sold in vaporizers. It will get everyone very high but its stronger than just smoking regular buds!!! It will help people no doubt but for the people who like to live a healthy organic life style adding chemicals might not be the best idea. Edibles last all day. I take this whole thing as the governor has no clue that vaping concentrates its like saying we know a beer would help you but you can only have liquor!!!!! At least the epileptic kids will get help. Cross your fingers that the health committee isnt composed of heartless clueless idiots that actually care and add the ailments that it is proven to treat.

  24. Chronic pain here. Eating oils helps, but vape or smoke lets my head to at least make me feel better about it. As an antipressant it helps.
    I have to use opiates to go out. Please, not make this a NY-complicated mess.
    Colorado did it right.

  25. New York City should be ahead of the game and setting real standards. Have the residents of Colorado gone completely ape shit, raped and pillaged the state as a result of cannabis use? NOPE.. Cuomo is a tool, this is a step backwards. The cost of this prohibition is ballooning, the American people want more.

  26. I would also thank my 21st district NY Assemblyman Bill Magee. He has worked tirelessly for our rural area to promote farming. My vote goes to him this fall.



  28. “I can foresee “overdoses” that will give marijuana a bad name. Be careful.”

    Kirk, are you serious? A person cannot smoke or eat enough cannabis to overdose it is not humanly possible.
    Correct you will not die from eating baked-pot. It can cause confusion and might cause someone to call 911. I eat pot cookies from time to time – it’s a weird-trip. Eat all the pot you can hold, it just seems an an odd way to make pot available to newbees … giving them the strongest method of ingesting it. But, rave-on NY has to start somewhere, and since MJ has to be grown to bud before it’s cooked…. maybe people will be to lazy to bake cookies with it and just smoke it! 🙂
    Congratulations, welcome to the party called “life as you like it”. 🙂

  29. Window-dressing by Cuomo. This guy hasn’t a clue. So many afflictions that are mitigated by marijuana were passed over by this weak and all-so-restrictive legislation.

    I have been using cannabis (in its natural state) for my arthritis for fifteen years now and it is a great alternative to any pharmaceutical (prescription OR over-the-counter). I have a condition that doesn’t allow me to use pharmaceuticals because they’ll attack my liver, however; even if I did not have this condition, I would use cannabis because of it having no adverse side effects. EVERY pharmaceutical is either addictive or physiologically dangerous to the body, and over time, they will kill.

    Speaking about pharmaceuticals, not allowing a resident to cultivate their own cannabis just forces them to buy from Big Pharma producers, so this legislation does have its “benefits” to those that Cuomo is beholding to.

    The freedom to cultivate one’s own medication and to use it as one sees fit is something that should be allowed, for otherwise, those who cannot afford will go without, and those who care to treat themselves safely and stay away from pharmaceuticals are left to act illegally by growing their own.

    This bill is very weak, restrictive, and has agendas that don’t have all those who could benefit from cannabis in its natural state in mind.

    Window-dressing once again.

    NORML and ASA need to continue the fight for fair and just legislation that represents all of those who can benefit from the safest medical substance on Earth.

  30. this is a step in the right direction however… with cuomo’s provisions? this guy like his father is a left wing BOZO !!!while i am happy this little breakthru happened the whole idea of anything remotely real that crosses cuomo’s desk has a snowballs chance in hell of going anywhere…

  31. Hold your nose closed with your thumb and fore-finger; then announce loudly, THAT’S ILLEGAL YOU CAN’T DO THAT! Mr Cumomo you’re a screwball, clean out your desk, and leave office.

  32. I’m with Martha,chronic pain and using opiates. I’m not sure if we are includedin the conditions covered by the flegling. bill.For those of you who think to vote out Cuomo,let me enlighten you on his opponent! He wouldn’t even answer an email I wrote to him asking his position on the subject. He’s an ultra conservative so rigor mortis will set in on us before his kind would offer us any help. Sometimes you have to go for the less of two evils. I write all my senators and congressmen weekly or more so to pass any and all laws that will finally remove the stigma from mj and go progressive for a better quality of. life for all of us. Being 63 I hope I live long enough to see us all be free since I’m of the minority most stigmatized by bad p.r. regarding mj! Keep on fighting NY!

  33. I’m a pain mgmt patient 63yrs old and a minority mix racially. in soci of the stigma mj bears and email my legislators weekly on the. issues for mj. As far as voting Cuomo out,his opponent is a strict conservative who never returned to me. when I asked how he stood on our issues. You must choose the lesser of the two evils.At least Cuomo gives us a start. I was disappointed too that more ailments were not covered and that it didnt allow smokable. mj. If all goes well the program can expand if it is not abused. Keep fighting NY!!!!

  34. The thing I am worried about is that smoking pot will not be allowed, but will in foods. That’s the scary part. Oil extracts and tinctures are many times more potent than just a joint.
    Those bits of info require a real knowledge of your tolerance level.

  35. The only method of speeding-up the process is to explain-away the fears of marijuana. No one is alive today, that was alive in 1936. Well, there are people alive, but no one remembers anything about “the day marijuana became illegal”. Mr Cuomo knows nothing about marijuana, he’s just a kid.
    Here’s how I did the most damage to the DEA, by exposing One-metric ton of Afghanistan hashish that was smuggled in scientific equipment to Scripps Institute of Oceanography. The DEA gave some of that hashish to the fellow that informed them on when to expect the shipment. The daughter of his boss had a slab, and said he gave it to her. Hand-pressed patties are distinctive. The DEA are crooks. 🙂 Time for an internal audit.
    Here is the venue you can work from. Every time there is a news release about NY and marijuana, you need to express your views, but YOU NEED TO GET RIGHT IN THE PUBLIC’S FACE. 🙂
    You may do so over at Charlie, Norah, & Gayle’s. Sign-up and post. People read CBS This Morning. I was Hydra-Glide and posted a lot of inflicting testimony about what’s what with pot, before I went too far with the X-pope and Hillary Clinton and got banned. Well I can post, but no body can see them. 🙂

    This is the most read column by non-pot knowledgeable people – and you can get through to them using CBS This Morning. Give your right of free speech a work-out, and provide Mr. Cuomo a “path to follow”. Hand him a medical Marijuana dispensaries logistics plan that is solid, and he can not say no.

  36. Yes, thank you NORML since 1974. They have clout and today…Republican support from the far reaches of the 50-states; like Stockman (R) from Texas. A state owned by religion. That takes political guts. “They” were for “us” at the House hearings:
    Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), Reps. Rohrabacher (R-Calf.), Don Young (R-Alaska), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Paul Broun (R-Ga.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Steve Stockman (R-Texas), and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.).
    ~ Note: Everyone one of these people deserve more than just your vote – back them in their endeavors while they continue to serve in office. Does that sound fair? ~

    Also know that you can post url’s on Charlie, Norah & Gayle’s CBS topics. They won’t be live, BUT curious readers can copy and paste the url to their browser-bar. Sometimes to make a point, I would post the url for a respected 4-gram 1/8th, MMJ delivery service and CBS left it up there every time, for any G-rated URL I wanted to post. It’s a tool. Use it on CN&G to educate New Yorkers the next time CBS runs a story on NY-Pot.

    Imo, the more people that can see the “nuts and bolts” of marijuana in society, the faster the word will spread to those pockets of genuinely uninformed.

  37. In the places a patient may need to medicate, the odor of smoke may be unpleasant or concerning to others in the area. Yet the main reason smoking is banned, is because a police officer whom smells burning cannabis will still automatically “know” the cannabis is other than legal. If the burning cannabis is in open view, this simplifies the actions which will take place to arrest the suspect for the misdemeanor crime. Clearly, arresting residents merely for responsible cannabis use is not an appropriate use of taxpayer money in the first place.
    While I support the educational promotion of vaporizing, the attempt to legitimize the continued war against cannabis culture through the restrictions on the Compassionate Care Act is completely unacceptable.
    In the future I would hope small personal gardens will be allowed, and that patients will have the option to cook their own cannabis food in their homes. Most people would still buy from producers, but those whom prefer to grow / cook for economic or specialty needs should have the option to do so.
    A small cannabis garden or cannabis cooking can be highly therapeutic for patients able to participate. The benefits to a patient allowed to connect with the plant that gives them relief is clearly beyond the understanding of prohibitionist.

  38. Word up Kirk!They need to be educated.educated!Contact all your local legislators as well as the governor.One thing they need to be straightened out about is their perceptions of us,the users!! They think of us as shiftless. lazy people who do nothing else but get high(not that there’s anything wrong with that!!!!) They must be made aware that we are voters. too and our votes will be a big part in getting them elected. I hope all my fellow New Yorkers. will also vote for all the local senators. and congressmen who voted for medical mj. They had it packaged more to our liking but the governor made them chop it up. I’m sure it will amended in the future. I just hope I live long enough to see it happen! I never thought id live to see a black president(I’m black,native,and Latina) so don’t give up hope! keep on pushin my people!

  39. I’m reading Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre, which exposes the many reasons why you can’t trust the pharmaceutical companies. The funny thing is, marijuana has a million times more validity for its efficacy and safety than the majority of drugs they rush onto the market every year, due to the system allowing them to use some really shady methods to hide negative trial data (including just outright not publishing any data that shows their product is ineffective or unsafe). Some of what the pharmaceutical companies are doing is outright criminal, yet somehow legal because they have bought the system along with all their other rich cronies.

    With that knowledge, it’s made pretty clear that the chances of marijuana being safer and more effective than nearly anything on the commercial pharmaceutical market is pretty high. Which is why Big Pharma is pushing so hard (with all their other Drug War Profiteers in the private prison and drug testing industries) to stop or limit marijuana legalization.

  40. My plan on CBS This Morning was to be blunt, but then to back up the rant with a solution.

    People will read a solution and act on it in their own way. Your governor will read your comments, so don’t scare him away by calling him names like “kid”.
    New Mexico governor Richardson’s mug-shot shows up above my fb page from tine to time. People read us and track my friends for insight on MMJ in suburbia. We’re setting a good example.
    Crime is SO DOWN in San Diego. You know why? There are no longer marijuana “have and have-not”s”. Everyone has an ounce baggie stuck in a shoe somewhere just in case they need it. 🙂

    Post a rant on CN&G, but the give the reader something to take home at the end.
    Use the Bold and Underline and Italic features that CBS-TM provides. Click on the pencil to open the “text enhancement” feature.
    You’ll be surprised at the results later in the year, that seemingly stem from your broadcast – if you get pin-pointy with your problems, and present a solution that everyone can live with, if that makes any sense at all.
    Educate NY State. Convince the networks to write NY crime dramas that put marijuana in perspective, and allows the main characters spend about 2-minutes of screen-time commiserating the facts about pot.
    And don’t let up with the positive push for MMJ dispensaries, and delivery services.
    A $360., 32-geam ounce of 30% thc, Sonoma Coma, averages out to $11.25 a gram. vs. $20. a gram for a lesser amount. Present the driver with a $5.00 tip, I do, and you never had to leave your house. That works. Keeps people off the roads.

  41. It’s Finally Happened!

    They are putting too many regulation on this.

    Seems to me Colorado has the Right Idea.


  42. This is sad, This is not a medical marijuana bill. People of NY. should be mad as hell. How come one idiot gets to change every thing so many worked so hard to set up. What is the guvnor so afraid off ?

  43. I’m so freakin’ livid over this watered-down POS (the bill AND Cuomo, so that makes 2 POSs), I can’t get myself to puke on Cuomo at this point. The bill was a joke but he forced the hand of the legislators whereby they gave in because there was no time left.

    This is exactly what Cuomo planned and the SOB got his way. Can’t smoke it — what the hell — people have been smoking it for 5000 years of medical applications and not one person has died from it. But boy, we can push those cigarettes and alcohol like there’s no tomorrow…

    And the Fed — well, there’s the other half of the joke. They sit back and won’t budge on it being a Schedule One but there’s data that shows almost 20 medicinal applications for it with the only side effect being some people show some anxious symptoms (while other patients have it relieve anxiety — go figure) and some people feel too relaxed. It’s going to be a challenge for Big Pharma to fill a minute’s worth of commercial time on tv with side effects. Currently 54 seconds are spent on them telling you how their pharmaceutical product is going to kill you.

    I’m too pissed to piss right now, but we’ll keep fighting the fight…

  44. “A small cannabis garden or cannabis cooking can be highly therapeutic for patients able to participate. The benefits to a patient allowed to connect with the plant that gives them relief is clearly beyond the understanding of prohibitionist.”
    My scenario exactly. Ended up with a felony and 1.5 to 3 years for an armful of plants in a bedroom after my other half brought the cops to my house. Up to that point, the only enemy I had was the government, then she went into a tie for first place with them.

    There’s no reason whatsoever that one shouldn’t be able to have a specified amount of mature and young plants cultivated in the confines of their home. Granted, outdoors they are game to be accessed by children, which I don’t condone, but inside and under lock and key should certainly be allowed. But wait, then Big Pharma and our illustrious government don’t have control of our lives…

  45. Of course this is done in favor of GW Pharma.
    This is all a long preplanned process. Colorado and Washington, both a Liberal and Conservative state used as proving ground and a lubricant for the country. Florida and New York are now on their way but unlike the first states to allow medical, this is going to be more government run and regulated with big pharma (GW Pharma) being integrated to the process. Unlike Oregon, California, Colorado, and the rest of them it’s sounding like people are not going to be able to medicate in a recreational manner smoking buds. Instead, paying for something like Sativex (THC) or Epidolex (CBD) at the pharmacies.
    Florida and New York have always been major power houses for both policy and influence, not to mention huge electoral voting power in presidential elections. I believe these two states are the last frontier before the vote becomes a national issue bringing legalization (or at least a major corporation/government run) to fruition.

    All in all, I’m happy for the progress, I’m not liking the sound of what state representatives have been saying.
    I will disclose that I am long GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) in the stock market.
    I’m not for having the majority of the rights delegated to major companies instead of the smaller companies, personal growers, and caregivers.
    The right for people to use marijuana recreationally/spiritually as well as grow their own should be protected.

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