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New York’s Medical Marijuana Program Will Launch Tomorrow

new york medical marijuana

(via wikipedia.com)

The battle to legalize medical marijuana in New York was not easy. New York does not have an initiative system, so the only way to achieve marijuana reform is via the New York Legislature, which has not exactly been friendly when it comes to marijuana policy. But after a long battle and a ton of effort, activists were able to get New York’s Legislature to pass a medical marijuana bill, and to get New York’s Governor to sign it. That was one phase of the battle.

The second phase of the battle was getting safe access in place to help New York’s suffering patients. New York passed one of the most restrictive medical marijuana laws in the country, and the newly created program doesn’t allow patients to grow their own medicine. The only way a patient can get legal medical marijuana is to buy it at a dispensary, which has taken awhile to get one open. It appears that all changes tomorrow when New York’s medical marijuana program starts serving customers. Per New York Daily News:

State officials will formally launch New York’s medical marijuana program on Thursday and at least one city pot dispensary expects to be ready.

“New York State’s Medical Marijuana Program is scheduled to launch on January 7, 2016, just 18 months after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act,” Health Department spokesman James Plastiras said in an email to reporters late Monday afternoon.

“More information and details on the program will be released shortly,” Plastiras added.

Columbia Care, one of five companies licensed to grow marijuana in New York, announced Monday that its Union Square dispensary plans to open Thursday.

This has been a long time coming. Patients have waited a very long time in New York, and hopefully some of them will now find relief. I really hope we don’t see a ton of price gouging going on as the program launches, which seems to happen quite often in the marijuana industry. I get that the handful of companies that won licenses in New York need to turn a profit, but I also feel that needs to be balanced with compassion. The license winners in New York already have deep pockets, so I hope that they keep that in mind when they are serving patients.


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Johnny Green


  1. You seem to miss the point- I need medicine- If I want it I would have to win the lottery or move. I cannot afford to move across the street. So how does your comment HELP someone in my situation? It is not about the distance to another state- it is about poverty and agony and no access to it here . Instead of dismissive flippant remarks that do not help someone like me at all in any way, maybe you can offer some true caring wisdom that takes my reality into account or maybe not- maybe all you have is more dismissive non-helpful comments.

  2. Yeah because raising thousands of dollars and relocating to another state is so doable for so many people- especially for those in agony with no money and no family… yeah great advice. Just send me the relocation funds and secure me housing and services okay? People who spout off this cruel bullcrap about just relocate/ easier to move have no f’ing clue what that would entail- or maybe they do and are just dismissive a-holes. The just move thing is kinds like the go back to Africa thing. Not a real option- but you knew that.

  3. The cost for one cartridge from Vireo and their businesses under other names will be $90 and UP. They are coming to severely impoverished Broome County NY to try and charge three times what is charged for a cartridge in California. The very lowest price is 90 and you get 10% off if the state waved fees for you due to poverty. So even after 10% off many people, like myself, who have been waiting and hoping for this medicine will have to go without. This is how they keep you going to pill mills. Pills are covered for an affordable copay- and MMJ is not covered. I cannot even afford to have television. None of the pills work and cause side effects that lead to more and more pills. So I am priced out. This is a big pharma backed control measure. If help is inaccessible, it is not help. It is a MYTH.

  4. Lawrence Goodwin on

    Here in New York we can’t even say, accurately, that we have a “medical marijuana” program. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the majority of state lawmakers, plus the NY State Police and ALL 120+ county sheriffs and district attorneys, are so paranoid and fearful of seedless, female cannabis flowers (spelled “marihuana” in actual laws) that NONE ARE LEGAL FOR SALE OR CONSUMPTION under this rigged program. ONLY vaporizable and bottled oils, pills, and oral sprays derived from such cannabis flowers are legal–under extremely restrictive circumstances. The reality on the ground is so depressing because it will clearly take at least 10 more YEARS for New York’s arrogant public officials to relent from their hysterical anti-marijuana postures.

  5. Some law. Good old Governor Cuomo, that bought and paid for Big Pharma weenie. I have to travel 4 hour round trip if I want to get access. This business about prohibiting the growing of the plant for personal use is pure politics. As we speak NY’s biopharmaceutical industry is planning to take control of our medicine. Then Medical Marijuana will become another lethal Big Pharma product. I hope full legalization fixes this MMJ law mess.

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