(WBNG Binghamton) Medical marijuana is officially legal in New York.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act today.
Now, the Department of Health must license five organizations to produce and distribute the drug for medical use.
"The legislation I feel confident gets us the best that medical marijuana has to offer in the most protected, controlled way possible," said Cuomo.
Those who seek to use it must have a prescription from a licensed practitioner who is registered with the health department.
The law was 17 years in the making and Governor Cuomo said it was worth the wait.
The use of the drug is limited to those who suffer from a pre-determined list of 19 different ailments.
The bill was co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D).
Last month, Lupardo told Action News that it will likely take 18 months to get the program off the ground.