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State proposes medical marijuana regulations

New York officials have proposed regulations for a medical marijuana program expected to start in 2016.  The rules, expected to be posted online Thursday by the health department and published Dec. 31 in the state Register, will be subject to 45 days of public comments and possible amendments. 

The Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo authorized the program under a law signed in July.  It authorizes patients with one of 10 diseases to be able to obtain non-smokeable versions of the drug, which can be ingested or vaporized. 

The proposed regulations call for licensing five businesses or nonprofits in New York to grow and distribute the drug.

Officials say their request for a federal waiver to bring in medical marijuana right away from another state with a program was rejected.

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