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Compassionate Care ActOn Friday, June 5, 2015, forty-three companies submitted their applications to the New York State Department of Health all seeking to become one of the five organizations to be registered by the State to produce, grow or sell medical marihuana.

Each of the five successful applicants will be authorized to locate four facilities for dispensing of the product resulting in a total of twenty such facilities being located throughout the State.

We at Jacobowitz and Gubits are fortunate to be representing one of the applicants and despite all the marginally funny jokes most from my generation have made regarding these facilities, the real truth is that the research being done in the field of medical marihuana may well revolutionize the field of medicine.

As it stands now, the Compassionate Care Act (CCA) does not provide for the sale or distribution of marihuana in plant form. The medical marihuana must be produced pursuant to an extraction process and sold in liquid, oil or vaporized form either for oromucosal or sublingual administration or in capsules for oral administration. Neither smokable nor edible food products containing medical marihuana are authorized by the CCA. The CCA includes very stringent and specific regulations relating to security of the facilities and the product.

The CCA limits the illnesses that can be treated in New York State with medical marihuana. These illnesses include Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Huntington’s Disease and certain neuropathy diseases.

It has been demonstrated that medical marihuana can help limit seizures and provide significant relief to these patients. However, the most exciting aspect of medical marihuana is the research currently being done as it relates to the treatment of the variety of other illnesses including post traumatic stress syndrome for veterans, certain types of cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Many of these facilities proposed will include a research component, including at least one proposed for Orange County, that will bring world renowned doctors and scientists to our area to conduct groundbreaking and potentially life changing results.

I look forward to learning about the research and potential life enhancing possibilities medical marihuana may provide and I am optimistic that at least one facility will be locating in the Hudson Valley in the very near future.

John C. Cappello is a partner on the Land Use/Environmental and Municipal Law Teams. He can be reached by phone at 866-303-9595 toll free or 845-764-9656 and by email.

John C. Cappello, Jacobowitz and Gubits, LLP

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