8 out of 10 people in New York support medical marijuana, but the medical program for the state is slowly becoming one of the most restrictive. Only 10 medical conditions qualify for the substance and it cannot be smoked. New York will also only allow 20 dispensaries to open and these will be run by 5 organisations. New York has a sizable population and this means that there will be one dispensary for every million residents. Estimates of certified patients in the state range from the thousands to the hundreds of thousands.
As reported by Fusion, the document outlining the New York’s medical marijuana program consists of over a hundred pages, and several stipulations that could cause serious problems for dispensary owners. For example, a plumber may need approval to unclog a sink in a dispensary. You might not even be able to drink Coke on the premises either.
Advocates of medical marijuana are hoping that some of these regulations will be overturned before the program is officially put into place next year.
All 23 states in the union with legal marijuana programs have their own set of rules, and it will likely take years before these are whittled and legislated down to be more or less universal and common sense. The medical marijuana program in New York sounds more or less useless – patients will likely be better served by seeking medicine from the black market than one of the ten dispensaries in the entire state. But the fact that the bill passed at all in the state shows progress.