New York approved medical marijuana back in 2014. By 2017, the panel of experts that were supposedly handling the licenses and dealing with applicants was finally discovered. Many of them do not even possess professional experience in the medical marijuana field, leaving many New York citizens to wonder why these people were chosen in the first place. With this information disclosed, the program is now looking to evolve so it can be more lucrative for the dispensaries and better for the people.
Broadening the Effort to Expand Access
The goal now is to broaden the effort to expand access. There are 20 dispensaries currently available in all of New York. With a high cost and difficulty finding a location to buy from, people are finding it tough to get the medication they need. The state is looking at adding at least five more dispensaries soon so access to the drug is much more easier to obtain.
Strict Regulations by the Governor are Causing Problems
The governor of New York only agreed to allow medical marijuana as long as there were strict regulations put on the substance. One of those rules is that it cannot be smoked. Ingestion is the main way offered, meaning people can only purchase edibles and not the marijuana itself. These directives are causing problems for dispensaries, as it is making it tough to find patients and doctors willing to work with them. If the rules were relaxed a bit, business owners agree they could bring in more business.
Changes to the Program
In late 2016, some changes were made to the program. Nurse practitioners are now allowed to recommend medical marijuana to patients. The recommendation does not have to come from the doctor himself. Chronic pain was not previously on the list of reasons for needing a supply. Now, that reason is perfectly valid for obtaining a prescription.
With these changes in effect and more to come, experts are thinking the medical marijuana program currently in New York will evolve to much higher standards. Patients need a way to get better access to supplies, as well as have more options. Not everyone benefits from ingesting the substance. Adding the option to smoke would be major stepping stone. Until the changes are made, though, patients and physicians are doing what they can to make the program work for them.