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New Cona Elder Law Memo Summarizes Impact of Recreational Marijuana Legalization on New York’s Health Care Providers

A new memorandum by LeadingAge NY Business Partner Cona Elder Law summarizes the impact of the legalization of recreational adult use of marijuana in New York on nursing homes, assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), senior housing, and other health care facilities.

The document provides an overview of the current laws at the federal level and recent laws passed by New York State to expand access to medical marijuana for treatment of qualifying conditions through the state’s Medical Marijuana Program, initially created under the Compassionate Care Act of 2014, as well as the state’s recent legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use. It specifically addresses questions regarding the rights of facility residents and employees concerning the use of marijuana, both recreationally and for medical purposes; facilities’ obligations pursuant to state and federal law, both with respect to risks of criminal prosecution and as a condition for government funding; and practical considerations that facilities should take into account when enacting facility and workplace policies concerning the use of marijuana for recreational and/or medical use by prospective and current residents, and by prospective and current employees.