AP: New York is loosening restrictions in its nearly year-old medical marijuana law

NY tweaks medical pot law but still no talk of legalization

 New York is loosening some restrictions in its nearly year-old medical marijuana law but there is no sign the state is in any hurry to embrace full legalization

By DAVID KLEPPER

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York is loosening restrictions in its nearly year-old medical marijuana law but, to the dismay of some pot advocates, there is no sign the state is in any hurry to join eight other states in embracing full legalization.

Among the latest to do so are two in the Northeast — Massachusetts and Maine — and the huge state of California. Still, Gov. Andrew Cuomo remains a skeptic of outright recreational use and legalization faces challenges in the Legislature too.

“It’s unlikely to happen in the short term,” predicted physician Kyle Kingsley, chairman of Vireo Health, one of five companies selected under New York’s law to grow and sell cannabis for medical uses. “But I do think what’s going on in Massachusetts, it helps knock down the stigma … I think it’s inevitable. It’s just a matter of time.”

New York’s medical marijuana law still has some of the strictest rules among the more than 20 states that allow medical pot. Among its requirements: that pot products can’t be dispensed in smokeable form and that physicians complete a training course to approve the drug for patients.

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