New York Set To Join Other States Allowing Medical Marijuana

Cuomo will announce his support for medical marijuana in his state of the state address this week. Harry Scull Jr./The Buffalo News/AP The Christian Science Monitor Weekly Digital Edition Gov. Andrew Cuomo who in the past had opposed medical marijuana reportedly will announce his support in his State of the State address this week. As first reported by the New York Times, Gov. Cuomos plan will be more restrictive than other states permitting medical marijuana use for minor ailments, allowing 20 hospitals across the state to prescribe marijuana to patients with cancer, glaucoma or other diseases that meet standards to be set by the New York State Department of Health. RECOMMENDED: How much do you know about marijuana? Take the quiz Cuomo, who is up for re-election this year, no doubt is aware of polling which shows that 82 percent of New Yorkers approve of medical marijuana. Bills allowing such use the Compassionate Care Act have passed the Democratically-controlled state Assembly, but stalled in the Republican-led state Senate. While that may change at Cuomos urging, the Governor intends to use executive powers under a 1980 law allowing the state health commissioner to approve controlled substances for patients with certain diseases. The move represents an important shift for Cuomo, reflecting public opinion. I do not support medical marijuana. I understand the pros and cons. I understand the argument, the Democratic governor told reporters last April. We are looking at it, but at this point, I dont support medical marijuana. Cuomos change in position is welcomed by advocates of marijuana use as a medicinal treatment. The move by Governor Cuomo is likely to have a constructive, transformative impact on the medical marijuana debate in Albany and across the country, the Drug Policy Alliance said in a statement.

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The state of medical devices in South Florida innovation

But theyre back in the game in a big way. The medical device business is an odd business … A lot of people do it as a vocation, Smith said. Its a thing you do because you love the work and find it very interesting and rewarding. Its not like a lot of other businesses. It really isnt. With help from many employees who were part of the old Symbiosis crew, Smith now runs a similar Miami company called Syntheon, which develops advanced surgical devices and sells the rights to market them in exchange for royalty payments based on sales. Smith declined to disclose Syntheons royalty percentages but said the basis for royalty payments this year from such medical product companies as American Edwards, Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson will be about $500 million of sales. Syntheon is part of a growing community of medical device companies in Florida, although the U.S. economic recession from late 2007 to 2009 stunted its growth for a while. A 2012 study by the independent Battelle Memorial Institute found that the number of jobs in the medical devices and equipment industry increased from 2001 through 2010 by 7.3 percent to 16,237 in Florida. During the same decade, the number declined 0.3 percent nationwide to 343,468 jobs. The Battelle study also found that the number of Florida companies in the medical device and equipment industry increased 50.9 percent to 498 during the last decade, while the number nationwide grew at a slower 11.7 percent pace to 6,957. More than just an assembly hub, the medical device industry in South Florida has a major focus on research and development.

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