When Andrew Cuomo unveiled his plan for legalizing cannabis for medical use in New York State, one element activists were quick to criticize was the method of distribution. Under Cuomo’s proposal, hospitals, as opposed to dispensaries, would be called on to distribute weed. Because hospitals are federally regulated, and cannabis remains illegal on the federal level, some wondered whether any hospitals would be willing to sign up for the plan.
Now, at least three NYC-area hospitals are stepping up: Mount Sinai in Manhattan, Montefiore in the Bronx, and the North Shore-LIJ Health System in NYC and Long Island are all pursuing medical weed, according to the Daily News. Still, the question of whether they’d actually be able to distribute the plant remains murky. Democratic State Senator Diane Savino, who sponsored a more expansive medical weed bill, doesn’t think so. “Hospitals can’t distribute medical marijuana — period,” she said. “They’re federally licensed facilities. The government will happily come in and shut them down.”