New York Wants to Import Medical Marijuana (for Now)

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New York’s Health Department is looking across state lines for medical marijuana, as it seems like getting the state’s brand-new pot program set up could take as long as until 2016.

In July, New York became the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana, but the bill required strict rules and regulations for its production and sale. (An 18-month waiting period was predicted right away.) The state’s Health Department is now asking the federal government for an exemption that would allow it to buy from states where such programs already exist.

That, however, isn’t likely to happen soon, according to Marijuana Policy Project legislative aide Rachelle Yeung. “It takes a long, long time to get these permissions,” she told WSHU radio, adding that there are other ways for Governor Andrew Cuomo to expedite New York’s internal process.

In the meantime, patients in need will just have to keep getting their weed the old-fashioned way.