“By including the comprehensive medical marijuana bill, known as the Compassionate Care Act, in their state budget proposal, the Assembly has jumpstarted negotiations with the Senate and Governor, as the measure will now be part of state budget negotiations”, said the Drug Policy Alliance in a Wednesday press release.
If the budget bill is approved with the Compassionate Care Act (which passed the Assembly in June, but has since stalled in the Senate) included, the possession of cannabis will be legalized for qualified patients, as will dispensaries to distribute the medicine.
“In the first few months, the state would be writing regulations and then accepting applications from organizations [to dispense medical cannabis]” says Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, the Compassionate Care Act’s primary sponsor in the Assembly. Once the program is up and running, he expects it to bring in $200 million in annual tax revenue.
According to polling released last month, 88% of those in New York favor the legalization of medical cannabis.