State lawmakers OK Bill to Speed Up Access to Medical Marijuana [News]

ALBANY — State lawmakers on Monday approved legislation to give seriously ill children and adults speedier access to medical marijuana.

The measure, which now heads to Gov. Cuomo’s desk, orders the Health Department to expedite the availability of medical pot for those patients “for whom a delay poses a serious risk to the person’s life or health.”

“There are kids really suffering right now and I have several in my district,” said Sen. Joseph Griffo (R-Utica), who sponsored the measure.

It’s unclear, however, whether the legislation — if signed by Cuomo — would have much practical impact. State Health officials are expected to award the first licenses to produce and sell marijuana in New York next month, with the drug being made available to the public as early as January.

“Our top priority has always been to deliver relief to those in pain,” said Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi. “We will review the legislation in the context of implementing the Compassionate Care Act and complying with existing federal statutes.”

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