First Medical Marijuana Dispensary to Open on Jan. 7 in NYC

New York’s medical marijuana program officially starts on January 7, as the city’s first dispensary opens just off of Union Square area. The store, dubbed Columbia Care, will be the first of four total dispensaries within the city limits. The marijuana program, however, does not allow the medication to be distributed as it is in California and other states where medical marijuana is legal. People suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington's disease, and other chronic illnesses, will be the only people allowed in the stores. They will gain access provided that they show a valid registration card at the door.

According to CNBC, security at the dispensary will also be remarkably thorough. Patients to the dispensary can expect to be welcomed by five cameras that monitor the storefront. Other systemic processes will vary compared to other states. Medical marijuana is not currently covered on health insurance, but Columbia Care will run an insurance program for low-income patients. Furthermore, specifics of daily operations will continue to be worked out as the dispensary gets more patients coming through its doors.

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