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New York State Politicians Seek Help to Implement Compassionate Care Act

In a sunny Manhattan hotel restaurant, The National Cannabis Industry Association continued to barnstorm the nation recruiting members and influencing policymakers. Executive Director, F. Aaron Smith welcomed a crowd of nearly 100 professionals eager to be among five private companies licensed to open four seed-to-sale dispensaries each in 2016.

Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed New York’s Compassionate Care Act on July 7, 2014. In its current form, the Act will allow those with “severe debilitating or life-threatening”conditions to purchase edibles, vaporizable concentrates and topical creams. Republican Assemblyman Steve Katz lamented the Act’s limits. “20 isn’t enough for Queens.”He promised to revisit the current Act’s ban against smoking and prod New York Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to add PTSD and other ailments to the list of approved medications. Katz opposed medical marijuana legislation earlier this year but now supports it after being arrested and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana while speeding.

NY Assemblyman Steve Katz

NY Assemblyman Steve Katz

Citing the culture of corruption permeating Albany politics, Katz was adamant that a lottery system be used to determine who wins the first licenses. “All applicants will have to have $1 million in an escrow account and are subject to stringent criminal background checks.”

Shortly before signing the Act, Governor Cuomo added language allowing New York governors, DOH Commissioners and State Police to cancel the entire program at any time.

NY State Senator Diane Savino

NY State Senator Diane Savino

NY Senator Diane J. Savino (D-Staten Island) was instrumental in drafting the legislation. She implored the audience to get involved in the regulatory process. “We need your help to get these legislators on planes and into grow rooms and dispensaries. They need to see it for themselves.”The Marijuana Policy Project estimates that less than 6,000 New Yorkers will be eligible for the program.

About Michael Mayes

As Chief Executive Officer for Quantum 9, Inc., Michael has assisted in funding some of the largest commercial cannabis projects in the world. Michael has been a cannabis investor since 2009 in Colorado’s first legal for-profit cannabis market. As the co-founder and CEO of Quantum 9, Inc., Michael has spent years designing technology and collaborating with countless consultants on the forefront of the cannabis industry. Collaborating with the brightest minds and contributing to world-class organizations has been an incredibly enlightening and rewarding experience for him. Also, he has amassed a comprehensive and award-winning team engaged globally for public policy best practices through the prioritization of environmental sustainability and patient care. Michael is a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS), contributor to Marijuana Business Daily, quoted in the Chicago Tribune, Tampa Tribune, Yahoo Finance, Tampa Tribune, Sativa Magazine, CBC and the Daily Herald. His media appearances include several CBS and WGN appearances and international presence on BNN Commodities in Canada. On the public policy front, Michael and his team were instrumental in their work of drafting the Kentucky Medical Marijuana Bill for Senator Perry Clark. Most recently, Michael taught a class for the International Pharmaceutical Academy in Toronto, Canada. He spoke on Cannabis Pharmacology, and the effects cannabis has on the endocannabinoid system.

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