The New York State Assembly Health Committee has begun hearings on the benefits of medical marijuana, which could pave the way for legalization next year.
The first meeting – held Wednesday in Buffalo – included testimony from medical marijuana patients from Colorado. The hearings continue today, with more patients and advocates set to testify.
Earlier this year, New York’s State Assembly passed a bill that would create one of the nation’s most tightly regulated medical marijuana programs. Under the proposed bill, the state’s health department would license and regulate the organizations that could produce and dispense medical marijuana. These organizations could be hospitals, pharmacies or non-profit independent companies.
Despite the momentum, the Senate failed to take up the measure before the session ended in June.
Lawmakers are now reviving the bill and hope to push it through in the next few months, saying they think there is finally enough support in the Senate.