Weekly Update, December 20-26


Medical Marijuana

It has been two years since the medical marijuana (Med Mar) program here in New York State began. I thought it would be a good time to review a couple items, especially in light of recent changes promulgated by the New York State Department of Health (DOH), the agency responsible for the implementation of the program. The two year report is here if you would like to review it for your own information.

As one may recall, the approval process for this program was very deliberative since there was hesitancy due to concerns about the potential message of encouraging use of illegal substances. As a pharmacist, I supported the effort because Med Mar products are made to exact standards that provide consistency in dosing which is critical for treatment of any type of condition. These regulated products vary dramatically from the street drugs that are pervasive in our community. Taking into account the therapeutic nature of Med Mar, I felt there was a need in the community to be met.

The roll out has been slow in some aspects which is not surprising since this is a very sensitive public policy initiative; however, dispensaries have opened up, growing facilities have been built, and patients are accessing the product.

Continue reading my full blog post here.

HUD funding

It was recently announced that over $60 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be awarded to 38 organizations in Upstate New York. The nonprofits that will be receiving the funds focus mainly on programs that assist the homeless.

Check out the full press release from U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand for more details and the full list of organizations who will receive funding.


Governor Cuomo announced that the New York State Board for Historic Preservation recommended adding 26 properties, resources and districts to the State and National Registers of Historic Places; including four nominees from the Capital Region.

Congratulations to Bleecker Stadium and Swinburne Park, Normanskill Farm, Lincoln Park and the John S. Tilley Ladders Company building on their nominations!

Click here for the full list of nominees and more.


A true sobering wake-up call from STATNEWS of the Boston Globe. In 2015 over 52,000 individuals died of an opioid overdose. Yes, that is 142 individuals a day and 6 individuals an hour.

We need to continue to share these stories to educate about prevention, to limit abuse and illegal drug sales, and to support treatment and a life of recovery.