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Gov. Cuomo Signs Medical Marijuana Law

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a medical marijuana bill into law on Monday.
ALBANY, N.Y. - Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a medical marijuana bill into law on Monday. 

A press release says the new law ensures that medical marijuana is reserved for patients with serious conditions and is administered in a manner that protects public health and safety. 

“This new law takes an important step toward bringing relief to patients living with extraordinary pain and illness,” Gov. Cuomo said.

The law requires certification and a registry process for physicians to be able to administer the drug. 

According to a press release, in order to be prescribed medical marijuana, a patient must receive certification from a licensed practitioner. Patients can only be prescribed medical marijuana if they have the following conditions: cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication on intractable spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies, Huntington’s Disease, or as added by the DOH commissioner. 

In order to obtain medical marijuana, a patient must display a card to a state authorized medical marijuana dispensary. A maximum 30 day supply of marijuana can be given to a patient. A medical marijuana card is good for two years, is renewable, and can be revoked.

A press release says the law puts in place a seven percent excise tax on every sale of medical marijuana by a registered organization to a certified patient or designated caregiver. Proceeds from the excise tax will be allocated as follows: 22.5% to the county in New York state in which the medical marijuana was manufactured; 22.5% to the county in New York state in which the medical marijuana was dispensed; 5% to the State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services to be used for additional drug abuse prevention, counseling and treatment services; and 5% to the Division of Criminal Justice Services to support law enforcement measures related to this law. 

The bill will take effect immediately and sunset in seven years.
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