New York Assembly members held a hearing to debate the merits of legalizing cannabis in the state – the first step toward potential reforms – but advocates will have a huge roadblock to overcome in Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who still believes in the gateway theory.

The measure would legalize cannabis for individuals 21-and-older and create a taxed-and-regulated system. According to an amNewYork report, the last time the state made significant changes to its criminal cannabis laws was when non-public cannabis possession was decriminalized in the state about 40 years ago.

New York does have a medical cannabis system; however, it is limited in scope and does not allow patients access to flower.

The hearing featured members of both pro and anti-legalization public interest and advocacy groups, including incoming New York State Sheriffs’ Association President Sheriff Barry Virts who said he was concerned about drugged driving and cannabis fueling the opioid epidemic. Dr. Julia Arnsten, a professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, addressed Virts’ concerns, citing a 2014 study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal which purported a 25 percent decrease in opioid overdoses in cannabis-legal states.

The measure is sponsored by Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, who, during the hearing, said that current drug laws disproportionately target minorities.

“It’s almost criminal what we’ve done as a country.” – Peoples-Stokes, via PIX11

In the Assembly, the legislation carries 14 co-and-multi sponsors.

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    Mac & Fulton Talent Partners is the premier recruiting agency for the indoor gardening and cannabis industries. For our client companies and candidates, M&F takes on the role of trusted partner and advisor in the development of long-term relationships. To this end, M&F's approach to recruiting and staffing in the cannabis space is founded on the understanding that our success is always determined by yours.

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    The Dispensary Partnership Program uses data collected from patients, via Releaf App, to provide business analytics to dispensaries (USA) and licensed producers (Canada). This data service is creating a new class of dispensaries that are driven outcomes and patient results. The dispensary partnership program shows symptom-specific patient ratings & analytics for the specific cannabis batches and products in a dispensary’s inventory. Dispensaries use this information to give more informed recommendations at the counter.

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    PayQwick’s mission is to bring well-established, proven payment processing, regulatory compliance and banking services to the licensed recreational and medical marijuana industries, thereby reducing the risk of violent crime, illegal money laundering and violation of state marijuana regulations. PayQwick serves state licensed Producers, Processors, Wholesalers, Distributors, Dispensaries and Retailers.

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    We are a Boutique Accounting firm focused on the cannabis industry. Our management team has over 100 years of combined experience in public accounting. Running a legal cannabis-based business can be complicated. Let us make sure your business is compliant with all federal, state and local financial regulations so that you can focus on your business.

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