TIME Drugs

New York Poised for Legal Medical Marijuana

Will be 23rd state

New York was on the cusp of becoming the latest state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes Friday.

The state Senate passed a bill that would limit consumption to edibles, pills, and oils—prohibiting the smoking or sale of actual marijuana plants. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill, which passed the Senate 49 to 10 after state leaders announced a legislative compromise Thursday.

“This legislation strikes the right balance,” Cuomo said in statement Thursday when the compromise was first reached. “Medical marijuana has the capacity to do a lot of good for a lot of people who are in pain and suffering, and are in desperate need of a treatment that will provide some relief. At the same time, medical marijuana is a difficult issue because there are risks to public health and safety that have to be averted. I believe this bill is the right balance, and I commend the members of the Legislature who worked so hard on this measure.”

New York will be the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana, according to the New York Daily News.

The state Department of Health will be charged with the regulation and licensing of medical marijuana manufacturers and distributors. The bill will place a seven-cent tax on marijuana sales.

MORE: Inside a Christian Pot Shop

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