Are You A Little Fuzzy On NY Medical Marijuana Law? You’re Not Alone

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This article was originally published in The Daily Record July 7, 2015.  


Governor Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act into law on July 5, 2014, following weeks of closed-door negotiations between the Governor and a number of legislators. With the signing of the Act, New York became the 23rd state to enact a medical marijuana law. However, this is not your typical, “Dr. Dude…give me a prescription so I can light up” law. In fact, many are calling it one of the most complex and restrictive medical marijuana laws in the nation. From the beginning, it’s clear this law will have much broader implications for employers, and their covered employees, than merely legalizing a Continue reading

Unaware Of New York’s Medical Marijuana Law? You’re Not Alone – Part 2

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Posted by Frank Cania, MSEmpL, SPHR – President of DRIVEN HR, LLC

In Part 1 you were able to get a brief but satisfying hit…sorry, I mean look at New York’s new medical marijuana law:

  • The Compassionate Care Act (the “Act”) makes New York the 23rd state to enact a medical marijuana law
  • The Act appears to be one of the most complex and restrictive medical marijuana laws in the nation
  • Although effective immediately, implementation isn’t expected for approximately 18 months
  • Acceptable forms of medical marijuana are edible, vapor, pills, and oils – with smoking specifically prohibited
  • Covered individuals, referred to as Certified Patients, will not be allowed to use any form of medical marijuana in public places, however the definition of a public place is still unclear
  • Certified Patients will automatically meet the definition of “disabled” under the New York State Human Rights Law, and 
  • The Governor may terminate the Act, without notice, if the Health Commissioner or the Superintendent of the New York State Police determine it causes a risk to public health or safety

In Part 2, I take a more in-depth look at the Act in order to provide some important highlights of the law, as well as a few employer compliance points for you to consider.   Continue reading

Unaware Of New York’s Medical Marijuana Law? You’re Not Alone – Part 1

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Posted by Frank Cania, MSEmpL, SPHR – President of DRIVEN HR, LLC

On July 7, 2014, Governor Cuomo publicly signed the Compassionate Care Act (the “Act”) (officially signed on July 5, 2014, following weeks of closed-door negotiations between the Governor and a number of legislators) legalizing limited use of medical marijuana in New York State. Because I hadn’t seen or heard much about this important legislation, I was interested to know how many clients, attorneys, and friends missed the news on this one. Based on my extremely unscientific poll, only about 25 percent of those contacted knew anything about the Compassionate Care Act. [Note: For the purposes of this article, I am focusing on areas of the Act that may have the greatest impact on the employment relationship. For a more comprehensive understanding, you may view the entire law by visiting the New York Assembly webpage and search for bill A06357.]

Background

The Compassionate Care Act makes New York the 23rd state to enact a medical marijuana law. However, this is not your typical, “Dr. dude…give me a prescription so I can light up” law. In fact, many are calling it one of the most complex and restrictive medical marijuana laws in the nation. From the start it’s clear this law will have much broader implications for employers, and their covered employees, than merely legalizing a substance for the treatment of specific medical conditions. Continue reading