New York City is finally opening its first medical marijuana dispensary! Although it’s a step in the right direction, the regulations surrounding medical marijuana in New York are draconian compared to other states that have moved to legalize cannabis. Forty-three companies nationwide applied for five medical marijuana licenses in New York State. Each license allows for the in-state operation of four dispensaries and one manufacturing facility. However, it is still illegal in New York to consume marijuana by smoking it or eating edibles, so the only approved use of the product is via liquid and oil consumption. Also, according to the New York State Department of Health, potential medical marijuana patients must be diagnosed with a "specific severe, debilitating or life-threatening condition that is accompanied by an associated or complicating condition." Additionally, there is still the question of how many New York medial practitioners will recommend medical marijuana to patients, especially since health insurance does not cover such treatments. It’s an uphill battle, but at least we’ve started climbing.
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